Naira Gains as Binance, Others Halt USDT, USDC Exchanges Amid Crackdown

February 29, 2024
Naira-Yuan Currency Swap Deal

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar in the foreign exchange (FX) market on Wednesday, February 28 as crypto exchanges like Binance, will no longer allow users to buy the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and US Dollar Coin (USDC) stablecoins with Naira after renewed scrutiny from the Nigerian government.

The regulatory crackdown continued in the Nigerian FX market as the country moved to aggressively suppress the activities of spectators and traders across digital platforms.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian government tricked two executives of Binance – an American and a British Pakistani into the country for a meeting and arrested them, following their refusal to hand over trading data on the platform for the last seven years.

Prior to this, exchanges including Binance, Coinbase, and Quidax suspended the buying and selling of USDT and USDC for Naira.

The move comes after the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Olayemi Cardoso claimed that $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from mysterious sources.

In the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), the local currency appreciated by 0.4 per cent or N6.43 to close at N1,609.51/$1 versus N1,615.94/$1 of the preceding session, amid a shortfall in the supply of forex by 22.7 per cent or $35.02 million to $119.14 million from $154.16 million.

In the spot market, the Nigerian currency remained stable against the Pound Sterling and the Euro at midweek, selling at N2,066.53/£1 and N1,767.79/€1, respectively.

In the parallel market, the Naira gained N150 against the greenback yesterday to sell at N1,450/$1, in contrast to the N1,600/$1 it was sold a day earlier.

Despite the drama on the Nigerian scene, Bitcoin (BTC) continued its surge on Wednesday, shooting above $62,000 for the first time since November 2021, as it rose by 9.5 per cent to $62,481.71.

Dogecoin (DOGE) increased by 19.9 per cent to trade $0.1185, Solana (SOL) appreciated by 7.3 per cent to $116.29, Binance Coin (BNB) expanded by 4.6 per cent to $414.47, Ethereum (ETH) grew by 3.8 per cent to $3,371.91, Litecoin (LTC) grew by 0.9 per cent to $74.83, Cardano (ADA) improved by 0.7 per cent to $0.6298, and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) added 0.05 per cent to trade at $1.00.

However, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.3 per cent depreciation to trade at $0.5757, and the Binance USD (BUSD) lost 0.01 per cent to quote at $0.9999.

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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