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Nigeria Demands User Data from Binance, $10 Billion Fine Possible

Binance

Nigeria is reportedly pressuring Binance to disclose information on its top 100 users in the country as part of an ongoing crackdown on the exchange. The Nigerian government is also seeking transaction histories for the past six months from Binance, according to a recent report by the Financial Times.

The request for user data comes as Nigeria accuses Binance of negatively impacting the local economy. Bayo Onanuga, the presidential adviser on information and strategy, claims that Binance and other crypto platforms have manipulated the Nigerian naira, resulting in a significant decline in the fiat currency’s value. Onanuga has even suggested banning platforms like Binance from operating in the country.

Nigeria Accuses Binance of Harming the Naira

In response to Binance’s attempts to engage in dialogue with Nigerian authorities, two senior Binance executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, were detained by local prosecutors. Despite Binance delisting all naira transactions and stopping peer-to-peer naira transactions in late February, the executives remain in detention.

According to reports, Gambaryan and Anjarwalla are cooperating with Nigerian authorities and providing information. Nigeria may seek to impose a $10 billion fine on Binance as retribution for allegedly damaging the Nigerian economy.

While Binance declined to comment on the specific allegations, a spokesperson stated that the exchange did not exit Nigeria entirely but had ceased all naira-related services.

The situation has raised concerns about Binance’s ability to continue servicing users in Nigeria. Some online commentators speculate that ceasing naira-related services could indicate Binance’s intention to disassociate from Nigeria entirely.

Nigeria: A Booming Crypto Hub Facing Economic Challenges

READ:  Privacy Project Collapses After Delisting Announcement by Binance

Nigeria has been identified as one of the fastest-growing crypto economies globally in recent years. Despite regulatory challenges, the country has seen significant adoption of cryptocurrencies. However, Nigeria has faced economic turmoil, including record-high inflation, exacerbated by the abandonment of the currency peg in June 2023.

In January 2024, Nigeria’s consumer inflation reached nearly 30%, marking the 13th consecutive month of inflationary pressure, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

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