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Binance to Exit Nigerian Market, Discontinues All NGN Services

Binance has revealed plans to exit the Nigerian market, discontinuing all services involving the local fiat currency, the Nigerian naira (NGN). 

In a Tuesday announcement, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange said it would suspend NGN withdrawals after March 8. 

Any remaining NGN balances in users’ Binance accounts will be automatically converted to the Tether stablecoin.

To ensure a smooth transition, Binance has encouraged its Nigerian users to withdraw their NGN, trade their NGN assets, or convert them into cryptocurrencies before the discontinuation of NGN services. 

The conversion rate for NGN to Tether will be calculated based on the average closing price of the USDT/NGN trading pair on Binance Spot over the last seven days.

Binance Suspends NGN Deposits

Effective immediately, Binance has also suspended NGN deposits, rendering such transactions unsupported after 2:00 pm UTC on March 5. 

Furthermore, all trading pairs involving NGN will be removed from the Binance platform on March 7. 

Binance Pay, the exchange’s payment service, will also eliminate NGN from its list of supported payment options on March 6.

The decision to exit the Nigerian market comes as Binance faces increased regulatory scrutiny within the country. 

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria recently raised concerns about illicit transactions and suspicious fund flows at crypto exchanges in Nigeria, including Binance. 

Additionally, the country’s National Security Adviser reportedly confiscated the passports of two Binance executives, who are citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom, in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

The intensifying suspicions about Binance’s alleged illicit activities in Nigeria have prompted the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to summon Binance CEO Richard Teng to appear before the committee. 

Nigeria Impost $10 Billion Fine on Binance

Last week, the Nigerian government imposed a staggering $10 billion fine on Binance as part of a crackdown on the platform in an effort to stabilize the nation’s local currency. 

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser on information and strategy to President Bola Tinubu, revealed the fine in an interview with the BBC.

The Nigerian government’s actions against Binance and other crypto firms stem from concerns over continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds. 

Authorities believe that these activities have contributed to the weakening of the naira. 

In September 2023, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared Binance Nigeria Limited illegal, stating that the platform was neither registered nor regulated by the commission.

Nigeria has emerged as one of the fastest-growing crypto economies globally in recent years. 

In September 2023, Chainalysis, a major crypto intelligence firm, ranked Nigeria second in the world in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. 

Moreover, Nigeria has been the most crypto-obsessed country based on Google search volumes for terms like “cryptocurrency” or “buy crypto.”

However, regulators in Nigeria have shown less enthusiasm for the rapid pace of crypto adoption. 

In February 2024, an adviser to Nigeria’s president called for a ban on Binance, KuCoin, and other crypto trading platforms in the country. 

Two years ago, Nigeria’s central bank prohibited regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto exchanges in the nation.

The post Binance to Exit Nigerian Market, Discontinues All NGN Services appeared first on Cryptonews.