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The Nigerian Crypto Startup Bill: What To Expect

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The Startup Bill Project Website has gone Live

The website of the Startup Bill Project, a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of our digital economy through co-created regulations gone live. What should crypto startups expect?

The Bill is expected to ensure Nigeria’s laws and regulations are friendly, clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.

The creators of the project believe it will contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for growth, attract and protect investments in tech startups.

Other African nations have successfully passed their startup bill and it is expected this Bill will redefine the Nigerian tech space.

In Nigeria, it has been noted that there has been adverse business climate ranging from regulatory uncertainties, political will to create an enabling environment for businesses, personal risk to entrepreneurs etc.

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This project is coming at a time when there has been growing capital, talent flight (brain drain) as well as drastic decrease in FDI in the country which continues to affect startups performance in comparison with global peers.

Announced on Twitter by Venture Capitalist and Entrepreneur Kola Aina, he said the website going live is one milestone in the journey, but it is a super important one and ‘we’re excited!’ he added. Kola Aina therefore called on everyone to visit the website to know what Bill is talking about their business and why they should care.

The project is managed by the Ventures Platform Foundation and supervised by the Presidential Strategic Advisory Group composed of stakeholder representatives from the tech-startup ecosystem in Nigeria, the website reads.

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In a medium publication posted on the 19th of July, taking into consideration the healthiness of starting and running a business in Nigeria which is decreasing at an increasing rate, and the need for the Startup Bill, the creators said

‘we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn (young people’s) passion into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled.’

First draft of the startup bill was made in June 2021 which involved harmonizing existing laws/regulations and feed inputs to legal framework from key ecosystem leaders (in MDAs, States, and Networks).

In July, the Bill will be validated and in September, the Final Draft will be produced taking inputs from contributors and making revisions to create the final copy.

In October, 2021 the Bill will be submitted to the President who will in turn submit it to the National Assembly.

What Should Crypto Startups Expect

In the medium publication, some mention of factors hindering the growth of startups was mentioned and one of which was the prohibition of financial institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions by the CBN in February this year.

This was a major setback for several cryptocurrency companies with some leaving Nigeria to do business elsewhere and others struggling to operate.

As the promoters request for inputs from the community, blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and startups are able to contribute to shaping the industry they operate. There is a huge knowledge disconnect between the founders and regulators and this bill might just be what will present a bridge and help make the industry friendlier for crypto startups.

The bill once past will ensure there is a safe market and platform for crypto startups to operate.

Currently, Banks have been prohibited from facilitating crypto transactions; the Startup Bill once passed could ensure there is a lift in this restriction thus giving founders the resources to operate without hindrance.

Also, once passed, the crypto startup founders could be able to operate in a well-defined sector where various regulators’ roles are defined to prevent over-reaching and adverse regulations.

 

One of the problems the tough business environment has created is the scarcity of investments in local startups.

Once the Bill is passed it is expected to bring sanity, stability and growth which would become the magnet to both local and foreign investment capital and this will in turn reflect on the growth and usage of local talents in shaping the tech ecosystem – talents which had opted out of the country due to its unfavorable business and innovation climate.

 

What do you think?

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