Binance Halts Naira Services Amid Regulatory Probe In Nigeria


Binance, a major cryptocurrency exchange, has announced the discontinuation of its naira (NGN) services in response to increased regulatory scrutiny in Nigeria. The exchange revealed in a blog post that it will commence the delisting of any existing NGN spot trading pairs by Thursday, March 7. Users are advised to withdraw, trade, or convert their NGN assets into crypto before the service discontinuation. Any remaining NGN balances in users’ spot and funding wallets will be converted to USDT on Friday, March 8.

Key Takeaway

Binance is discontinuing its naira services in response to heightened regulatory scrutiny in Nigeria, following recent regulatory actions by the Nigerian government. The ongoing legal dispute between Binance and Nigeria’s government remains unresolved, with the exchange facing accusations of illegal operations and involvement in manipulating foreign exchange rates.

Regulatory Impact

Following recent regulatory actions by the Nigerian government, which imposed restrictions on both local and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, users have faced accessibility challenges on the Binance website. Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria stated that the country was losing out on taxes from unregistered crypto exchanges and accused Binance of facilitating “illicit flows from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify” amounting to $26 billion.

Detention of Binance Officials

Two Binance officials were reportedly detained after being invited to Nigeria to discuss the regulatory restrictions. According to Bloomberg, the officials were held because Binance was operating illegally in Nigeria. Although formal charges have not yet been filed, the detained officials may potentially face charges related to currency manipulation, tax evasion, and illegal operations.

Legal Dispute

Reports indicate that the Nigerian government intensified its scrutiny of the platform by requesting nearly $10 billion in compensation, alleging Binance’s involvement in manipulating foreign exchange rates through currency speculation and rate fixing. However, both Nigeria and Binance have refuted these claims regarding the fine. The ongoing legal dispute between the world’s largest crypto platform and Africa’s top crypto market is still unresolved. Nigeria’s parliament has further exacerbated the situation by threatening to issue a warrant of arrest for the company’s executives and summoning Binance CEO Richard Teng to provide explanations regarding investigations into alleged involvement in money laundering and terror financing, as reported by local sources.

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