March 27, 2024
Nigerian Presidential Adviser Calls for Binance Ban
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Nigerian Presidential Adviser Calls for Binance Ban

Bayo Onanuga, an adviser to Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu on information and strategy, has advocated for the ban of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and KuCoin, in the country. Onanuga expressed his concerns on the X social media platform, accusing these platforms of manipulating the Nigerian fiat currency, the naira, contributing to its ongoing depreciation in the foreign exchange market. Speculations are rife that the government is contemplating a ban in response to these allegations.

In a post titled “The Naira-Dollar Manipulators,” Onanuga criticized Nigerians for what he deemed unpatriotic trading behavior on the Binance platform. He urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to swiftly halt the operations of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Onanuga asserted that Binance, facing regulatory scrutiny in multiple countries, should not be allowed to influence the naira’s value on its crypto exchange platform. He said:

“The EFCC and the CBN should move against these platforms trying to manipulate our national currency to Ground Zero. Crypto should be banned in our country, or else this bleeding of our currency will continue unabated”

Responding to these accusations on February 22, Binance distanced itself from Nigeria’s forex crisis, emphasizing that its platform operates on a market-driven basis and is not intended to serve as a proxy for currency pricing in the country.

In response to the perceived regulatory threat, crypto users in Nigeria reported difficulties accessing various exchange platforms, including Binance and OctaFX, on February 21. Binance addressed this in an email to users, clarifying that the issue only affected the online platform and assuring users that the Binance app remained functional. The exchange pledged active engagement with regulators to facilitate an open and transparent dialogue about the evolving cryptocurrency landscape in Nigeria.

Notably, Binance imposed a limit on the selling price of Tether (USDT) tokens on its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, restricting sales above 1,802 naira per USDT. This move, perceived by the local crypto community as a response to government pressure, was explained by Binance as an automatic system pause, refuting claims of deliberate pricing adjustments.

Nigeria currently stands as the world’s largest P2P cryptocurrency market, a status attained after the CBN banned institutions from engaging in crypto transactions in 2021. However, a circular issued to banks in December 2023 lifted the ban on Nigerian banks facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, signaling a complex regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies in the country.

Image by wirestock on Freepik

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