Nigeria regulator halts Binance operations: Report

Nigeria regulator halts Binance operations: Report

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It’s been a rough week for the Binance cryptocurrency exchange. On June 9, the Nigerian Securities Authority reportedly considered the illegal exchange, just days after Binance was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Binance Nigeria Limited is hereby directed to stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form,” the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a statement. seen by Bloomberg.

The regulator also noted that Binance is not registered or regulated in the country, making its operations illegal. “Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity does so at their own risk,” the commission said.

The setback comes just days after US authorities sued Binance. The American SEC filed 13 charges against Binance on June 5, including allegations of unregistered offerings and sales of securities, failure to register as an exchange or broker, and fund mixing. The company said it provided all the information required by regulators and hopes to “defend us in court.”

Binance is a popular crypto exchange in Nigeria. It is one of the most prominent crypto centers in the region and the most populous country in Africa. A study by Chainalysis shows that the Middle East and North Africa region is leading cryptocurrency adoption worldwide, with users receiving $566 billion worth of crypto between July 2021 and June 2022, an increase of 48%. with respect to the previous year.

The ban follows recent regulatory developments within the local crypto ecosystem. On May 28, former President Muhammadu Buhari promulgated the Finance Law, introduction of a 10% tax on profits from digital assets. The newly elected President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, recently published a manifesto suggesting a revision of the Nigerian SEC regulations on digital assets to make them more business friendly.

The Central Bank of Nigeria does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender and commercial banks are prohibited from engaging in crypto transactions in the country since February 2021.

Cointelegraph reached out to Binance, but did not receive an immediate response.

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