Binance Exits Nigeria, to Convert Naira Balances to UDST

March 5, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance will discontinue all services for Nigeria’s fiat currency, the Naira, following the ongoing regulatory onslaught on the firm by the Nigerian authorities.

The crypto exchange will automatically convert Naira balances to US Dollar Tether (USDT) from March 8 but will cease support for deposits after today.

Withdrawals will become unsupported after March 8 by 12 noon Nigerian time, a statement sighted by Business Post confirmed.

The conversion rate for automatic conversions will be pegged at N1,515.13 to 1 USDT, according to an announcement from the website.

Other features, including Binance Convert, Binance P2P, the exchange’s Auto Invest feature, and Binance Pay, will also cease support for the Naira.

This development is coming after the government blamed Binance for being responsible for triggering the problems in the Nigeria FX market.

On Monday, the House of Representatives threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Changpeng Zhao, following no response from representatives, who were asked to appear before its committee.

Binance executives had not appeared before the committee because two employees, who were to appear at the meeting, were arrested upon their arrival in Nigeria by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) last week.

Analysts say the fingering of the crypto exchange platform is a desperate move to salvage the value of the Naira, without tackling proper issues.

The Nigerian government says some users have used the Binance platform for criminal activities such as money laundering and currency speculation. They are also accusing the cryptocurrency firm of operating illegally in Nigeria in violation of the country’s laws.

It was also reportedly planning a minimum of $10 billion penalty on Binance for “illegal transactions”, according to a spokesperson of the president, Mr Bayo Onanuga.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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