Nigeria Orders Telecoms to Block Binance, others access months after lifting ban

Complex factors, not us, influence FX rates in Nigeria, says Binance

Telecommunications firms yesterday effected the directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block access to the websites of cryptocurrency firms.

A senior executive in one of the telecoms company confirmed this development to The Guardian yesternight. According to him, this was part of moves to curtail the sliding status of the naira, especially activities of speculators. The naira fell to about N1,800/$ yesterday.

Affected firms would include Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase and others. This is coming some months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a guideline to govern digital asset operators’ activities.

In December 2023, the CBN changed its stance on crypto assets and asked banks to disregard its February 2021 ban on crypto transactions.One of the affected firm, Binance had stated that its platform is not for currency pricing. The platform said this after users lamented their inability to buy dollars.

While noting its commitment to a market-driven, fraud-free, and manipulation-free platform for its users, Binance said, “Furthermore, as industry leaders, we are working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance.”

Yesterday, the firm confirmed that it paused transactions to protect users from price suppression. Addressing rumours that currency speculation was thriving on its platform, the firm, said, “It is important to note that foreign exchange rates are influenced by various complex factors, which Binance has no influence on.

“However, we continue to actively engage with regulators, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to foster an open, transparent dialogue about managing the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency and financial markets.”

In September 2023, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed a disclaimer on Binance Nigeria Limited, saying the platform was “neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal.”


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