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Amid scathing backlash, Binance disables naira feature on P2P feature for Nigerians



SEC declares Binance operation illegal in Nigeria, warns cryptocurrency investors

Following scathing backlash from the Nigerian government, Binance, a crypt exchange with over 170 million users worldwide has disabled its peer-to-peer (P2P) feature for Nigerian users.

Known as the P2P market, the network lets users, buyers, and sellers transact without the intervention of a third party. It gained popularity among Nigerians in 2021 after former president Buhari’s administration outlawed the country’s vibrant Crypto industry.

With the disabling of the P2P function for Nigerian users, Nigerians might no longer trade on Binance as the Nigerian currency was also unavailable on Binance on Wednesday.

Binance has been drawing flak from the Nigerian government in recent days. Earlier on Tuesday, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, had dropped a bombshell that illicit flows in the form of crypto exchanges worth $26b passed through Binance.

Also, a presidential spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga recently said that Binance will destroy the Nigerian economy by arbitrarily fixing foreign exchange rate if the platform is not checked.

READ ALSO:Cardoso says $26bn from unknown sources passed through Binance Nigeria in one year

Binance has also been flagged in several countries including UK, Japan, Canada and Singapore for flouting regulatory framework and causing disruptions in the currency market.

In the US alone, the platform was made to pay $4.3 billion for violations of anti-money laundering and sanctions laws leading to the resignation of Changpeng Zhao as the Chief Executive Officer of the platform.

In June 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the operation of Binance Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Binance, was illegal.

To stop what it views as ongoing manipulation of the foreign exchange market and unlawful money transfers, the Federal government recently disabled the websites of Binance and other cryptocurrency companies.

Two senior Binance officials have also been detained in Nigeria as the nation looks to crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges to tame the speculation of the naira.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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