Nigeria's Presidential Adviser Calls for Crypto Ban, Binance Denies Involvement

Sentiment: Neutral

In a startling turn of events, Bayo Onanuga, the trusted adviser to Nigerian President Tinubu on information and strategy, has made bold allegations against major crypto platforms, particularly targeting Binance and KuCoin. Onanuga, in a social media post, accused these platforms of manipulating the Nigerian naira, calling their actions "unpatriotic" and demanding immediate regulatory intervention.

Responding to the allegations, Binance issued a comprehensive statement vehemently denying any involvement in the alleged manipulation of the naira. The cryptocurrency exchange clarified that its platform reflects market trends and operates in accordance with market dynamics, refuting claims that it plays a role in determining currency pricing. This denial comes amidst a growing climate of suspicion and regulatory scrutiny in the Nigerian crypto space.

Access Woes Fuel Speculation of Impending Ban

On February 21st, reports surfaced of users experiencing difficulties accessing various crypto exchange websites, including industry giants like Binance and OctaFX. This sparked widespread speculation about a potential government ban on cryptocurrency trading. Binance, quick to address the concerns, assured users that the access issues were limited to their online platform and emphasized that their app remained fully functional. The exchange also took steps to alleviate fears by temporarily limiting USDT selling prices on its P2P platform, citing an unrelated automatic system pause.

Nigeria's Crypto Landscape: A Complex Evolution

Nigeria, despite being the world's largest peer-to-peer crypto market, has grappled with regulatory uncertainty. In 2021, the central bank imposed a ban on institutions engaging in crypto transactions. However, a notable shift occurred in December 2023 when a circular lifted the ban on Nigerian banks facilitating crypto transactions. This conflicting regulatory landscape reflects the nation's evolving perspective on the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry.

  • Growing Tensions: Onanuga's call for a ban underscores the escalating tensions between Nigerian authorities and the crypto industry.

  • Binance's Denial: Binance refutes allegations, asserting its commitment to market-driven operations and distancing itself from claims of currency manipulation.

  • Access Issues Raise Concerns: Reports of access difficulties fuel concerns about a potential government ban, but Binance assures users of continued operations through its functional app.

  • Nigeria's Complex Crypto Landscape: The nation grapples with conflicting regulations and changing perspectives on cryptocurrency, reflecting the broader global challenge of integrating digital assets into traditional financial systems.

About the Author

Ex-crypto miner and crypto enthusiast since 2019.

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