Binance Drops the Nigerian Naira Amid $10B Fine Scare

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Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms, recently made headlines by dropping the Nigerian Naira from its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform. As per the announcement, this move came amidst increased government scrutiny and allegations from Nigerian authorities that Binance’s activities contributed to the devaluation of the Naira.

Nigerian Government Questions Binance’s Activities 

The decision to remove the Naira from Binance’s P2P markets marks a significant development in the ongoing debate surrounding cryptocurrency regulation in Nigeria. Binance’s P2P platform allowed users to trade cryptocurrencies directly with each other using local fiat currencies, providing a convenient avenue for Nigerians to access digital assets. 

However, the Nigerian government has expressed concerns about the impact of cryptocurrencies on the country’s economy, particularly regarding the stability of the Naira. Authorities have accused platforms like Binance of facilitating activities that undermine the Naira’s value, indicating capital flight and illicit financial transactions.

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Meanwhile, the move by Binance has sparked mixed reactions within the cryptocurrency community and among Nigerian users. While some see it as a necessary step to comply with regulations and maintain a positive relationship with regulators, others view it as a setback for cryptocurrency adoption and financial freedom in the country. 

Nigerian Government Demands Retribution From Binance

Amidst the crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, the Nigerian government has demanded retribution from Binance.

As per Premium Times report, Bayo Onanuga, special advisor on information and strategy to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu indicated that the government is seeking at least $10 billion from Binance in an attempt to salvage the value of the nation’s local currency, the Naira.

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According to Bayo in an interview, Binance profited from its illegal transactions in Nigeria, bringing huge losses to the nation. As such, the authorities are closely conducting investigations into the exchange. The government of Nigeria has requested Binance to furnish them with all the relevant transactional data related to the use of the Nigerian Naira on their platform within the last seven years. 

Nigeria, the Largest African P2P Crypto Market

Nigeria has emerged as the largest P2P crypto market globally, following the CBN’s ban on institutions from buying and selling crypto in 2021. However, a recent circular issued to banks in December 2023 lifted the ban. As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues in Nigeria, the government faces pressure to address concerns about currency manipulation while ensuring a conducive environment for crypto traders and investors.

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