Nigeria’s Crypto Shockwave: Banning Giants like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken – What’s Next for the Naira?

Nigeria has issued a directive to telecommunications companies and internet service providers to block access to cryptocurrency trading platforms, affecting popular sites like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken. Nigerians frequently use crypto as a hedge against the devaluation of the naira.

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The move follows previous statements by presidential spokesman Bayo Onanuga, advocating for a ban on cryptocurrencies to prevent the weakening of the local currency.

Binance confirmed that some users in Nigeria are experiencing difficulties accessing its platform. This regulatory development in Nigeria aligns with global efforts to regulate and oversee the cryptocurrency sector after the 2022 market crash.

The recent directive from Nigeria impacting cryptocurrency trading platforms, including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, involves blocking access to these platforms by telecommunication companies and internet service providers. This move, reported by local media outlet Premium Times, has been confirmed by the presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, who previously expressed the view that cryptocurrencies should be banned to prevent further devaluation of the naira.

Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, acknowledged that some users in Nigeria were encountering difficulties accessing its platform but assured the security of users’ funds. Onanuga emphasized concerns about Binance’s potential impact on the naira’s value and called for a ban on cryptocurrencies in Nigeria to prevent further currency devaluation.

This development follows the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria declaring in June that Binance was operating illegally in the country. This shift in regulatory stance contrasts with earlier discussions in late 2022 about potential collaboration between Nigerian authorities and Binance to establish a “digital economic zone” focused on blockchain technology.

Globally, regulators are tightening oversight of the cryptocurrency sector following the 2022 market crash, which resulted in bankruptcies, scandals, and significant investor losses.

Various jurisdictions, including the European Union, have introduced or are considering new legislation to govern digital assets. In Asia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are working on frameworks to enhance investor protections and clarify rules surrounding digital assets, while India’s crackdown on offshore platforms has led to market share losses for global exchanges like Binance in favor of local competitors.

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