Binance Halts Nigerian Naira Transactions, Faces Regulatory Headwinds

    Binance, a leading global cryptocurrency exchange, is ceasing all Nigerian naira transactions amid regulatory challenges. Explore the reasons behind this decision and the escalating scrutiny from Nigerian authorities.

    • Binance, a prominent global cryptocurrency exchange, has declared its withdrawal from the Nigerian market, ceasing all services in the local fiat currency, the Nigerian naira (NGN).
    • Starting March 8, Binance will no longer support NGN withdrawals, prompting the automatic conversion of remaining NGN balances to the Tether (USDT) stablecoin.
    • The decision follows escalating regulatory scrutiny in Nigeria, with the Central Bank and National Security Adviser expressing concerns about illicit transactions and suspicious fund flows on the Binance platform.

    Binance’s Departure from Nigerian Market

    Binance, a key player in the cryptocurrency sphere, has made a strategic decision to exit the Nigerian market. The exchange officially communicated on March 5 that it would suspend NGN withdrawals after March 8. Users are advised to withdraw, trade, or convert their NGN assets before the stipulated date. Any remaining NGN balances in Binance accounts will be automatically converted to the USDT stablecoin, with the conversion rate based on the average closing price of the USDT/NGN trading pair on Binance Spot in the last seven days.

    Regulatory Challenges in Nigeria

    The move to discontinue NGN services aligns with heightened regulatory scrutiny in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria raised concerns on February 27, linking crypto exchanges in the country to illicit transactions. The governor also pointed to “suspicious flows” of funds on the Binance platform. Adding to the tension, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser reportedly seized the passports of two Binance executives. Amid these challenges, Binance’s peer-to-peer platform had delisted all NGN trading pairs in late February. The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes summoned Binance CEO Richard Teng, demanding an appearance before March 4 to address the concerns.

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