• Nigeria updated its crypto service provider guidelines in an effort to curb criminality.
  • Nigerian government has taken steps to block access to crypto platforms in the country.

The Punch , a Nigerian newspaper, reported on Thursday that the Securities Watchdog of Nigeria is updating its guidelines to prevent “criminals” from accessing capital markets.

The report, which cites the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC), follows headlines in February, claiming that Nigeria had blocked access to several crypto-platforms, including Binance Kraken and Coinbase. Coinbase stated at the time it was still accessible. It did not respond immediately to a CoinDesk inquiry for comment regarding the current situation.

Binance has been reportedly demanded to pay $10 billion by the Nigerian government as a penalty for allowing around $26 billion in untraceable funds be processed within the country. Last year, the SEC warned that the exchange was engaging in illegal activities. Two Binance executives, who flew to Nigeria at the invitation of the Nigerian government last month, were arrested.

Reports say that the new SEC guidelines will ensure that “criminals” are not registered to operate on the capital markets, but it is unclear how criminality will be assessed.

The guideline, which includes a manual of anti-money laundering measures (AML) and rules for combating the funding of terrorism (CFT), is designed to prevent criminals from gaining access to the capital market in the country.

“The SEC has also developed new AML/CFT/CPF onboarding manual for licensing/registration and ongoing screening of Digital and VASP Beneficial Owners to ensure that criminals are not registered as operators in the capital market,” an SEC notice from March 4 reportedly said.

The SEC is prepared to interact with real VASPs on the basis of these clear rules and regulation. Before final approvals are granted, it will consult on proposed measures.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently reversed , a measure which prevented local banks from offering services and accounts for crypto firms.

Read more: Binance, the Nigerian crypto exchange, demands $10 billion from the Nigerian government: BBC

Camomile Shumba contributed reporting.

Sandali Handagama is the editor.