Financial regulator in Nigeria orders Binance to halt operations in the country

According to a news report, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria has ordered the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance to halt its operations in the country.

Photo of the coin of Bitcoin

This week, Nigeria’s markets regulator has ordered the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, to halt its operations in the country. The move follows Nigeria’s central bank’s decision in 2021 to ban banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in digital currencies. The Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission said that Binance Nigeria Limited, which was soliciting Nigerian investors through a website, was illegal. The order indicated that the company was not registered or regulated, making it illegal.

Despite the ban, Nigeria’s young, tech-savvy population has eagerly adopted cryptocurrencies, for example using peer-to-peer trading offered by crypto exchanges to avoid the financial sector ban. In an effort to find a middle ground between an outright ban on crypto assets and their unregulated use, Nigeria’s SEC published a set of regulations for digital assets last year.

As a result of the ban and the SEC’s actions, Binance is now required to halt its operations in Nigeria. It remains to be seen how the Nigerian authorities will implement the regulations and how the cryptocurrency industry will evolve in the country in the future.

Earlier this month the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also sued Binance and Coinbase for allegedly breaching its rules.