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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Binance Set to Cease Nigerian Naira Services Amid Regulatory Crackdown

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Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced its decision to discontinue all services involving the Nigerian naira (NGN) by March 8, 2024. This move comes amidst a country-wide crackdown on crypto exchanges by Nigerian authorities, who have accused these platforms of contributing to a black market for foreign exchange.

Effective immediately, Binance will suspend naira deposits, with transactions no longer supported after 2:00 pm UTC on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

Naira

Withdrawals will cease after Friday, and any remaining NGN balances will be automatically converted into Tether (USDT), a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Furthermore, all trading pairs involving the naira will be removed from Binance’s platform on March 7, 2024. The company’s payment service, Binance Pay, will also eliminate the naira from its list of supported payment options on March 6, 2024. These actions mark a significant shift in Binance’s operations in Nigeria, a key market for the exchange.

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Binance Set to Cease Nigerian Naira Services Amid Regulatory CrackdownThe decision follows the detention of two senior Binance executives by Nigerian authorities on undisclosed charges. The executives remain in custody, according to their local lawyer, amid ongoing investigations into the exchange’s alleged infractions of the country’s foreign exchange regulations.

Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on information and strategy, recently called for the ban of Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms in Nigeria.

Binance Set to Cease Nigerian Naira Services Amid Regulatory CrackdownOnanuga accused Binance of manipulating exchange rates and usurping the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Similarly, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the CBN, revealed that $26 billion had passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year.

The CBN is collaborating with regulatory agencies to ensure transparency in the foreign exchange market and hold platforms like Binance accountable for their actions.

In response to mounting pressure from Nigerian authorities, the federal government has reportedly demanded at least $10 billion in retribution from Binance for its alleged illegal transactions in Nigeria.

This demand comes on the heels of the detention of the exchange’s executives, underscoring the escalating tensions between Binance and regulatory authorities in the country.

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