FG Fines Binance $10bn For Naira Manipulation

Because Binance was trading cryptocurrencies illegally with the naira, the Nigerian government penalized the cryptocurrency trading site for $10 billion. President Bola Tinubu’s Special Advisor on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, verified this on Friday morning in a BBC interview.

The advisor to the president stated that the fine was requested because of Binance’s unlawful activities, which significantly impacted the recent depreciation of the naira, the nation’s currency.

“The exchange rate that the platform sets for the nation is unlawful. The BBC cited Onanuga as adding that the CBN is the only entity with the authority to set the nation’s currency rate.

He continued, saying, “Those who manipulate the currency rate on the Binance platform swiftly impact the Nigerian economy at a time when Nigeria is trying to stabilize the economy.”

“Binance staff cooperated with the government to provide information. The Nigerian government has been cracking down on Binance operations in the country lately.

Binance subsequently removed the naira from its peer-to-peer feature. The feature, known as the P2P market, allows users, buyers, and sellers to transact without the intervention of a third party.

Bayo Onanuga had also said that if not stopped, Binance would destroy the Nigerian economy because of the way it arbitrarily fixes foreign exchange rates.

Two employees of Binance were also detained by the office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, in Abuja as part of an investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange’s operations in Nigeria.

Their detention in Nigeria was in an attempt to curb naira speculation and steady its free fall by clamping down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

During the week, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unknown sources and users in one year. He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the apex bank, the first since he assumed office in September 2023.

This followed the free fall of the naira and the clampdown on the Bureaux de Change by President Bola Tinubu’s administration in an attempt to steady the rapid decline. Cardoso said the government was “concerned that certain practices go on that indicate illicit flows going through a number of these entities, and suspicious flows at best.”.

He continued, “In the case of Binance, in the last year alone, $26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify.

“There is a lot that is going on now as a result of collaboration between the different agencies, which include the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the police and, of course the office of the NSA (National Security Adviser) and in due course, as we progress and have more information to share,

“We will certainly share and suffice to say that we are determined to do everything it takes to ensure that we take charge of our market, or, put differently, do not allow others to manipulate our market in a way that ends up distortionary and suboptimizes for all Nigerians.

“We will not accept it, and we will do everything possible to prevent any of these kinds of infractions from taking place.”

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