Following the ban on cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), cryptocurrency exchange Binance has removed naira as a trading pair.
The exchange made this known in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Notice of removal of trading pairs’.
It stated that the exclusion of naira from its trading pairs will be effected from February 8, 2021.
Binance stated, “Binance will remove and cease trading on the following trading pairs at 2021-02-09 12:00 PM (UTC): BNB/NGN, BUSD/NGN, DOT/NGN, ETH/NGN, LINK/NGN, LTC/NGN, TRX/NGN, XRP/NGN.
“Please note: NGN is fiat currency and does not represent any other digital currencies.
“Users can transfer their fiat or crypto balance to their P2P wallet, and buy or sell cryptocurrency with NGN at zero fees on the Binance P2P platform.
“Users can still trade the above assets in other trading pairs that are available on Binance.
“Risk warning – Cryptocurrency trading is subject to high market risk. Please make your trades cautiously.
“Binance will make best efforts to choose high-quality coins, but will not be responsible for your trading losses.”
Binance’s Response To CBN’s Directive
After the apex bank had issued a circular directing all financial institutions to close all accounts linked to cryptocurrency trading, Binance issued a statement that said that it was “monitoring the situation closely.”
It also added that the funds of all its Nigerian investors and traders were kept safe.
It said, “We are aware of the recent circular shared by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) around cryptocurrency-related Nigerian naira (NGN) payment activities in Nigeria and we are monitoring the situation closely.
“Please note all your funds on Binance.com remain safe and crypto services on Binance.com will continue as normal.
“However, our NGN payment partners are suspending deposit services until further notice. From 7 PM (GMT+1) on February 5, 2021, Binance will temporarily suspend NGN deposits through our fiat partner channels. Withdrawal services remain normal and will continue to be processed but might take slightly longer time than usual.”
Why CBN Banned Cryptocurrency Trading
The CBN, in a press release obtained by BizWatch Nigeria, noted that the ban on cryptocurrency trading was due to “risks inherent in crypto-assets”.
It stated that trading with cryptocurrencies was speculative and untraceable, adding that they were being used for “money laundering” and financing terrorism.
It said, “The recent regulatory directive became necessary to protect the financial system and the generality of Nigerians (including the youth population) from the risks inherent in crypto assets transactions, which have escalated in recent times, with dire consequences for the integrity of the financial system and financial stability.
“Due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are largely speculative, anonymous and untraceable they are increasingly being used for money laundering, terrorism financing and other criminal activities.
“Small retail and unsophisticated investors also face high probability of loss due to the high volatility of the investments in recent times.
“In light of these realities and analyses, the CBN has no comfort in cryptocurrencies at this time and will continue to do all within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians to desist from its use and protect our financial system from activities of fraudsters and speculators.”