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Binance under Scrutiny: Calls for Nigerian Ban

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Binance under Scrutiny: Calls for Nigerian Ban

An adviser to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has urged for the banning of cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Binance and KuCoin in the country. Bayo Onanuga, the President’s adviser on Information and Strategy, expressed his belief on social media that these platforms are manipulating the value of the Nigerian currency, leading to its depreciation in the foreign exchange market. The government is said to be considering a ban on these platforms, and Onanuga accused Nigerians of being unpatriotic for utilizing Binance in particular. He called for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to quickly shut down cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to prevent further damage to the national currency.

Onanuga specifically targeted Binance, which is currently facing regulatory scrutiny in several jurisdictions, claiming that it should not have the authority to determine the value of the Naira on its platform. He criticized Binance for setting exchange rates for Nigeria and encroaching on the CBN’s role. Binance, in response, denied any involvement in Nigeria’s forex crisis and stated that its platform is driven by market forces, not intended to dictate currency prices in Nigeria.

Recently, Binance implemented a limit on the selling price of Tether tokens on its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, capping the sale price at 1,802 naira per USDT. This move caused speculation within the local crypto community, but Binance clarified that it was due to an automatic system pause, not an attempt to manipulate the market. It is worth noting that Nigeria is currently the largest P2P market globally, a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ban on crypto transactions by institutions in 2021. A circular issued in December 2023 lifted this ban, allowing Nigerian banks to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions once again.

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