Binance ends Nigerian naira services in wake of scrutiny

After the Nigerian government threatened fines and possible arrests, Binance announced it planned to end support for the naira


ymcgraphic/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Binance said it’s discontinuing all Nigerian naira services following reports that Nigeria was investigating the company and contemplating actions against it. 

Binance said Tuesday that it would stop accepting naira deposits starting March 5, and would not allow withdrawals of NGN starting Friday.

“Users are encouraged to withdraw NGN, trade their NGN assets or convert NGN into crypto prior to the discontinuation of these NGN services,” Binance’s announcement said. 

If users don’t withdraw their naira before Friday, Binance said it’ll be converted to USDT

“​​We thank you for your support as we continue to build the crypto ecosystem in a way that promotes transparency and long-term, sustainable growth,” the announcement said.

Read more: Binance’s woes in Nigeria continue to mount

The announcement comes after several reports that Nigeria was looking to crack down on Binance. Last Friday, a government official said the country was looking to impose a fine of up to $10 billion on Binance, however, the company told a local media outlet that it hadn’t heard about a $10 billion fine. 

The official then said his quotes to BBC’s pidgin language service had been misrepresented and that he hadn’t said the fine would definitely be $10 billion. 

Other government officials reportedly summoned CEO Richard Teng to appear in front of the House of Representatives to address allegations, with Bloomberg reporting that Binance could face formal allegations of currency manipulation, tax evasion and illegal operations.

Two executives were reportedly detained last week, though a spokesperson clarified to the media outlet that they hadn’t been formally arrested. 

Nigeria’s central bank governor, Olayemi Cardoso, named Binance in a press conference at the end of February, claiming that $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria. 

Binance didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment about the ongoing situation.

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