Nigerian Government Denies $10 Billion Fine for Crypto Exchange Binance

A representative from the Nigerian government has dismissed rumors of a massive $10 billion fine for crypto exchange Binance. According to Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to the Nigerian president on information and strategy, the claims reported by the BBC were a misquotation.

Onanuga clarified that his statement had been misrepresented and that no final decision has been made to fine Binance. He also stated that he did not mention a specific amount or inform Binance of any potential fines. The possibility of a fine was only mentioned as nothing has been confirmed yet.

The People’s Gazette, a local news outlet, reported that Binance is unaware and has not been informed of any $10 billion penalty. The cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly expressed reluctance to negotiate any fines with the Nigerian government.

Growing Regulatory Scrutiny for Crypto Exchanges in Nigeria

The statement comes amidst increased regulatory scrutiny for crypto exchanges in Nigeria, with several platforms recently banned in order to protect the country’s national currency, the Nigerian naira. In response, Binance removed the naira from its peer-to-peer (P2P) service on February 28, as part of the crackdown on the exchange.

The Emergence of Web 3.0 and Its Impact on the Music Industry

The adoption of Web 3.0 has enabled direct peer-to-peer (P2P) trading between users, buyers, and sellers without the involvement of intermediaries. This trend gained popularity in Nigeria in 2021 after the government’s ban on cryptocurrency, which was thriving during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has been under scrutiny in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed concerns about suspicious fund flows through Binance’s Nigerian arm, with CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso citing that $26 billion was transacted through the exchange in 2023 from unidentified sources and users.

Moreover, the National Security Adviser’s office has reportedly detained two senior Binance officials in Abuja, as the country aims to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and curb speculation about the naira. This move comes after the CBN lifted a two-year ban on banks engaging in crypto transactions in December 2023 and issued guidelines for regulating virtual asset service providers.

In 2022, Nigeria became the second country to introduce a central bank digital currency. The cNGN stablecoin, pegged to the naira, was also launched by the Africa Stablecoin Consortium in a CBN regulatory sandbox in February.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Binance for their response.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: