Nigeria regulator halts Binance operations: Report

This week has been a difficult one for the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. On June 9, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly declared the exchange to be unlawful, only a few days after Binance was taken to court by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a statement, seen by Bloomberg, which orders Binance Nigeria Limited to cease any solicitation of Nigerian investors immediately.

The commission stated that Binance is not registered or regulated in the country, making its operations unlawful. It went on to warn that any person investing with the entity is doing so at their own peril.

Just days after being sued by U.S. authorities, Binance encountered a setback. On June 5, the American SEC brought forth 13 charges against the company, such as unregistered offers and sales of securities, not registering as an exchange or broker, and mixing of funds. Binance has stated that it has supplied all the necessary data to the regulators and is eager to demonstrate their innocence in court.

Binance is a well-known cryptocurrency exchange in Nigeria and is one of the most important crypto centers in the region as well as the most populous country in Africa. According to a Chainalysis study, the Middle East and North Africa area are leading the global crypto adoption, with users obtaining $566 billion in digital currencies between July 2021 and June 2022, a 48% rise from the prior year.

The recent implementation of the Finance Act, signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on May 28, which imposes a 10% tax on gains from digital assets, has resulted in a ban. Additionally, the newly elected Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu, has expressed a desire to revise the Nigerian SEC’s regulations on digital assets to make them more business-friendly, as suggested in his manifesto.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has declared that cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender, and commercial banks have been prohibited from participating in any crypto transactions since February 2021.

Cointelegraph attempted to contact Binance, but did not get an answer right away.

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