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Binance Suspends Naira Services Amid Regulatory Crackdown

Binance Nigeria has announced its decision to halt all services in the country’s local currency, the naira, starting from March 8, 2024.

The cryptocurrency platform made this announcement via its website on Tuesday, citing regulatory concerns from the federal government as the reason behind the move.

According to Binance, withdrawals in naira will be officially suspended after March 8. Any remaining naira balances in users’ accounts will be automatically converted to the Tether stablecoin.

The exchange urged users to withdraw their naira funds, trade their naira assets, or convert them to cryptocurrency before the discontinuation of naira services.

Binance also stated that naira deposits will be immediately suspended, with transactions not supported after 2:00 pm UTC on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Furthermore, all trading pairs involving naira will be removed from the platform on March 7, 2024.

Additionally, Binance Pay, the platform’s payment service, will no longer support naira as a payment option from March 6, 2024. The peer-to-peer platform had already delisted all naira trading pairs in late February.

This decision by Binance comes amid heightened scrutiny by Nigerian authorities over alleged infractions in the country’s foreign exchange regulations.

Government officials, including Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to President Bola Tinubu, had for the ban of Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms, accusing them of manipulating the national currency and flouting regulatory norms.

Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), revealed that $26 billion had passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year, prompting the government to demand at least $10 billion in retribution for profiting from “illegal transactions” in Nigeria.

Recall that this demand came shortly after two top executives of the crypto platform were detained.



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