Blockchain association, SiBAN, releases Code of Conduct for Virtual Assets Service Providers in Nigeria

Introduction

The Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), a self-regulatory body in Nigeria’s emerging blockchain industry, made an unprecedented move last Friday by issuing a Code of Conduct for Virtual Assets Service Providers in Nigeria. The SiBAN Code of Conduct applies to virtual assets service providers (VASPs) in Nigeria who are either registered SiBAN members or nonmembers who voluntarily adopt the Code. The introduction of the SiBAN Code of Conduct has been welcomed by the SIBAN community and the general community.

According to SiBAN as published on its website, the Code of Conduct has been prepared to promote global best practices consistent with SiBAN’s philosophy of a virtual assets sector that is fair, transparent, and efficient. 

Containing 16 codes, the SiBAN Code of Conduct was initiated by the SiBAN President, Senator Ihenyen, comprehensively reviewed by the Policy & Regulations Committee, and approved by the Executive Council. The document was welcomed by the SiBAN community comprising both individual and corporate members who play in Nigeria’s virtual assets sector.

According to SiBAN’s report, the SiBAN Code of Conduct generally draws its principles from the following documents on best practices for virtual asset service providers (VASPs):

  1. The Cayman Islands’ Statement of Principles: Conduct of Virtual Asset Services;
  2. The Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association’s (Global DCA) Code of Conduct; and
  3. The New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria, on 11 May 2022, which, amongst other things, sets out the obligations of VASPs in Nigeria.

Senator Ihenyen, the SiBAN President, expressed delight with the introduction of the Code. “I’m happy and proud to introduce the SiBAN Code of Conduct to you all. As a pro-innovation and pro-regulation association, we must ensure that the market is not only rid of bad actors but also conducive for innovation to thrive and regulation to work. In the SiBAN community, we are more than ever before committed to collaborating with both innovators and regulators, thus ensuring that Nigeria maximizes the immense opportunities this emerging sector has in store for us all”.

According to Mr. Okafor, the SiBAN Policy & Regulations Committee, “Getting this Code of Conduct for our dear organization SIBAN has been a desire of this administration headed by our dear president, Barr. Senator Ihenyen. Producing the Code of Conduct document required vision, human resource, energy, and time. My profound appreciation goes to the members of the Executive Council, and most especially the honourable members of SIBAN Policy & Regulatory Committee for their immense contribution to this valuable document.” Some of the members of the SIBAN Policy & Regulatory Committee include Beverley Onyejianya-Agbakoba (Partner, AOL), Prince Nwafuru (Partner, The Law Suite), Gabriel Eze (Associate, Infusion Lawyers), Jude Ayua (Associate, Infusion Lawyers), Uchechi Ofoegbu (Associate, OAL), and Tega Edema (Lecturer, Admiralty University of Nigeria). 

“The SiBAN community has continued to grow in membership over the years”, said Mosun Omotunde, Head of SiBAN Membership Registration Unit. “I believe that this Code of Conduct will help us further demonstrate to both players and regulators in the virtual assets industry that SiBAN is for an industry that balances innovation with consumer protection and investor safety. Everyone is welcome on board!”

Gabriella Kusz, CEO of Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association (Global DCA), a self-regulatory body, congratulated SiBAN for introducing the SiBAN Code of Conduct in Nigeria’s virtual assets sector.

Founded in 2018, SiBAN‘s register of members has continued to grow over the years, attracting both local and foreign projects that operate in Nigeria’s emerging blockchain industry. SiBAN’s vision is “to transform Nigeria into the world’s safest and biggest blockchain space with the largest blockchain solutions, investments, and adoption”. At the Nigeria Fintech Week 2021, SiBAN was awarded “Best Blockchain Association in Africa”. 

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