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Regulators in Africa’s big economies are scrambling to get on top of a spike in cryptocurrency trade

Reuters/Temilade Adelaja
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  • Yomi Kazeem
By Yomi Kazeem

Africa reporter

In August 2018, a report on the state of cryptocurrency regulation across Africa came back with one obvious conclusion: most countries were undecided on what to do.

In fact, 21 African countries had made no public stance on cryptocurrency regulation at the time, while only two had shared favorable stances about potential regulation. But, in what represents a major shift, Nigeria and South Africa—two of the continent’s largest economies—are stepping up regulatory plans.

In April, South Africa took its first steps towards creating cryptocurrency laws by publishing a framework proposal and, more recently, Nigeria laid out plans to regulate cryptocurrencies through its Securities and Exchange Commission. This is a marked turnaround from two years ago when the Nigerian lawmakers asked the central bank to “investigate” bitcoin.

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