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Nigeria’s Largest Stock Exchange Plans to Adopt Blockchain for Settling Trades

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The largest stock exchange in Nigeria, the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. will roll out a blockchain-enabled trading platform next year to facilitate the capital market and attract young investors. The company said that the main application of distributed ledger technology will be in trading settlements.

  • According to Bloomberg, the exchange will partner with a technology company, aiming to gain approval from Nigerian observers by 2023.
  • Temi Popula, CEO of Nigerian Exchange Ltd., sees blockchain technology as an intermediary in the financial market, providing “an efficient way to trade financial assets.” He added that the rollout could allow young investors to have “quick and easy access to the market” as they make up the majority of cryptocurrency users in the country.
  • The company’s first electronic offering of shares issued by the Nigerian division of MTN Group Ltd. last year, exceeded the subscription by 1.2 times, while 85% of investors were under 40 years old.
  • It is not yet clear whether the exchange will be directly related to the cryptocurrency. If so, it must operate in accordance with the Nigerian SEC and the regulatory framework set by the country’s central bank.
  • Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria banned the banking sector from conducting cryptocurrency transactions, while allowing individuals to trade them. The organization called cryptocurrency a risk to the financial system. The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission said it was well prepared at the time to enforce the necessary regulations and would protect investors.
  • Bloomberg noted that African businesses and politicians are actively applying blockchain technology for various applications. Just one year after the introduction of the CBDC, Nigeria is about to turn on for local residents to pay their bills, TV subscriptions and airline tickets using eNaira.
  • Meanwhile, South African authorities are engaging with the fintech industry to bring the technology to financial markets.
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