Digital assets classification to protect investors – SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has said that the recently released statement on digital assets and their classification as well as treatment is aimed at protecting investors in the capital market.

Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation Emomotimi Agama, in an interview, said, “The first thing the SEC bothers about is investor protection.

“This is no different from what we have been doing. We are looking at investor protection, integrity and transparency. We, of course, want to make sure that the market is safe and everyone is comfortable with what is going on in the investment climate.”

Agama noted that the commission, last year, launched the Fintech Roadmap and, after that, set up the block chain virtual financial assets committee.

“These committees are both market-wide and principally done to engage the market, to be able to have discussions with the market and get their buy-in into what we are doing.

“What we found out today is that a lot of persons, youths are all involved in this space and it is important that even as far as that is the case, the SEC lives up to the expectations and making sure that those people that are getting into the business are protected.

“Clearly, that is our aim and the market is part of this. Indeed, the feedback has been wonderful. People are happy with what we are doing, being able to provide some clarity as to where we stand in terms of digital assets regulation,” he said.

Digital assets, he added, is the next thing. “Our idea is not to stifle innovation, but to promote innovation within a reasonable space. Section 13 of the ISA empowers us to do this and so we are doing what we have been empowered to do by law.”

On what internal capacities the SEC is developing to meet the challenges of the fast-changing digital financial world, Agama said, “The SEC is a knowledge-based institution and before we come out of this kind of initiative, we would have done so much research.

“I need to tell you that the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has been partnering with the SEC and, up to this point, we have been engaging with them and several of our staff have been part of their programmes.”

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