Binance Halts Naira Services Amid Regulatory Crackdown

Nigerian Authorities Clamp Down on Cryptocurrency Exchange, Binance, Prompting Discontinuation of Naira Services

Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency trading platform, has announced the discontinuation of its services in Nigeria, prompting users trading with the naira to withdraw their assets from the exchange.

The move comes in the wake of increased regulatory scrutiny from the Nigerian government aimed at addressing instability in the forex market, with authorities cracking down on Binance executives.

In response to the government’s actions, Binance has removed all assets associated with the naira from its platform. Users have been advised to withdraw their naira assets or convert them into cryptocurrencies before the cessation of naira services.

According to Binance, any remaining naira balances in users’ accounts will be automatically converted to USDT (Tether) based on the prevailing conversion rate starting from March 8, 2024, at 08:00 (UTC).

The decision to discontinue naira services follows allegations by the Nigerian government that Binance played a role in exacerbating instability in the country’s forex market.

The House of Representatives recently issued a threat to issue a warrant of arrest against Binance’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Changpeng Zhao, after representatives of the company failed to appear before a committee.

Ginger Onwusibe, chairman of the committee, reiterated the committee’s stance not to accept legal representation from Binance, insisting on the presence of the company’s executives.

The absence of Binance executives at the committee meeting was attributed to the arrest of two employees upon their arrival in Nigeria by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) the previous week.

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This development unfolds amid ongoing tensions between Binance and the Nigerian government over the platform’s operations in the country. The cryptocurrency exchange is accused of manipulating Nigeria’s currency, contributing to its depreciation against other currencies. Additionally, some Binance executives are reportedly detained by Nigerian authorities.

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