Binance Announces End to Nigerian Naira Services by March 8

General News
2024-03-05 18:42:39

Binance, the leading global cryptocurrency exchange, is withdrawing its operations related to the Nigerian naira (NGN) following complications with local regulatory authorities. The exchange declared it will halt all NGN transactions, compelling users to cease NGN withdrawals by March 8. After this date, any NGN balances in Binance accounts will automatically be converted to USDT.


Users are urged to either withdraw their NGN funds, exchange NGN assets, or convert them into cryptocurrencies before the service discontinuation. Binance clarified that the conversion rate would reflect the average closing price of the USDT/NGN trading pair over the last seven days.


Effective immediately, the platform will stop accepting NGN deposits ahead of the complete service termination, with NGN-related transactions ceasing from 2:00 pm UTC on March 5. Additionally, all NGN trading pairs will be removed from Binance on March 7, and the Binance Pay service will exclude NGN from its payment options starting March 6. The peer-to-peer trading platform of Binance already discontinued NGN trading pairs in late February.


This move comes in light of increasing regulatory pressures faced by Binance in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria's governor recently expressed concerns over potential illicit activities conducted through crypto exchanges, specifically naming Binance for "suspicious flows" of funds. Additionally, recent reports reveal the detention of two Binance executives by Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, with their passports confiscated.


Amid these escalating suspicions, the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has summoned Binance CEO Richard Teng, giving the platform's management a deadline to respond by March 4.


This withdrawal occurs as Nigeria continues to show significant interest in cryptocurrencies, ranking high globally in adoption rates according to Chainalysis and Google search trends. However, the regulatory environment remains challenging, with the Nigerian central bank having previously prohibited financial institutions from serving crypto exchanges, and recent calls for bans on platforms like Binance and KuCoin within the country.

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