July 25, 2024

Binance Ceases Nigerian Naira Services Amid Legal Dispute and Currency Turmoil

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Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance has announced the discontinuation of all services involving the Nigerian naira, marking a significant development in the ongoing legal tussle between the U.S.-based crypto firm and Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa.

In a statement released on its official website, Binance outlined its decision to halt Nigerian naira services. Effective this Friday, any remaining naira balances in user accounts will be automatically converted to Tether (USDT), a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Binance specified that it would cease to support naira deposits after 2 p.m. UTC on Tuesday, with withdrawals of the currency no longer being facilitated after 6 a.m. UTC on Friday.

The move comes against the backdrop of a legal dispute between Binance and the Nigerian government, which is reportedly seeking nearly $10 billion in compensation. The government has accused Binance of engaging in currency manipulation, specifically through foreign exchange rate speculation and rate fixing. Last week, reports emerged of the arrest of two senior executives from the cryptocurrency firm by Nigerian authorities.

Nigeria stands as one of the world’s significant cryptocurrency markets, yet the decision by Binance to discontinue naira services reflects the escalating challenges faced by the cryptocurrency industry in the country.

The Nigerian naira has experienced a substantial depreciation, losing nearly 70% of its value over the past few months. This currency crisis and the surge in inflation have contributed to the economic turbulence in Africa’s largest economy.

The unfolding situation between Binance and Nigeria raises questions about the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and may impact the broader cryptocurrency market in the region. As Binance takes steps to navigate these challenges, the crypto community will be closely monitoring developments in this legal dispute and its potential implications for the industry’s operations in Nigeria.

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