Nigeria’s SEC issues second ‘Binance’ investor warning, cites exchange website

Binance Nigeria was initially asked to stop soliciting investors back in June


ymcgraphic/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission issued a warning warning targeting a company — Binance Nigeria Limited — operating under the same name as Binance as an unregulated and unregistered exchange.

Because the company is operating without any regulatory oversight, the SEC warned that “any member of the investing public dealing with the entity making such solicitation is doing so at his/her own risk.”

This is the second warning the Nigerian regulator has made, though the SEC’s latter notice specifically targeted, which is the URL of the global exchange and not Binance Nigeria Limited. 

Blockworks requested clarity from the Nigerian SEC but did not hear back before publication.

“The Commission again reiterates that the activities of Binance, and any such other platform through which the Company solicits investors is neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal,” the July notice said.

In early June, the SEC said it was made aware of Binance Nigeria Limited and ordered the entity to “immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever.”

The second warning echoes the June order of asking “platform providers, making such solicitations” to stop soliciting investors in Nigeria.

“We are aware of the circular, however, the entity mentioned in the circular is not affiliated with us. We are therefore seeking clarity from the Nigerian SEC and remain committed to working with them cooperatively on the next steps,” a Binance spokesperson told Blockworks in an email.

“Most importantly, we want to remind users that their assets on Binance are safe, accessible and secure. Our greatest priority will always be to deliver for our users.”

Binance did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the warning issued by its impersonator.

Outside of Nigeria, the real Binance has struggled with the regulatory environment in Europe and the US — despite the fact that Binance.US, not Binance, operates in the US.

Back in June, French authorities made an on-site visit to Binance as reports claimed that the global exchange was facing an investigation by French authorities. The global exchange, however, said that the on-site visit was “part of regulatory obligations to which all financial institutions must adhere.” It added that it spent “considerable time” and resources cooperating with “law enforcement globally.”

Binance has also withdrawn from multiple European countries as it struggles with registration. Europe recently passed the Markets in Crypto Assets Act (MiCA), which aims to regulate the crypto industry.

Last week, Binance “proactively” withdrew its application to operate in Germany, though earlier reports had stated that BaFin — Germany’s regulatory agency — had declined to issue a license last month. 

In June, Binance also announced its plans to exit the Netherlands and Cyprus

It’s not all bad news for Binance, however, as it did announce that it was one step closer to receiving full approval from Dubai’s regulatory agency. The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority issued Binance a minimum viable product license on Monday, meaning that it will only need to receive a full market product license to offer more authorized services.

Updated Aug. 1, 2023 at 1:15 pm ET: Added context from the Nigerian SEC circular, including the citation of Binance’s official website. Headline updated to reflect change.

Updated July 31, 2023 at 5:19 pm ET: Added statement from Binance.

Updated July 31, 2023 at 10:38 am ET: Corrected to clarify that Binance Nigeria Limited is an entity with no ties to the real Binance.

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