Binance has announced that it will no longer support the Nigerian currency, the Naira, on its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading feature.

This decision has sparked a wave of complaints and concerns among Binance users in Nigeria, who have flocked to the social platform gone to express their frustrations.

Claims that platform plays role in Naira devaluation

Binance’s action follows claims by Nigerian authorities that the platform played a role in the devaluation of the Naira. Presidential advisor Bayo Onanuga warned that Binance has the potential to “destroy” the Nigerian economy by setting arbitrary exchange rates, an accusation that further inflames the situation.

Binance’s P2P feature, which allows users to trade directly with each other without the need for a third party, gained popularity in Nigeria following the government’s ban on the booming crypto industry in 2021. This ban was implemented during the presidency of former President Muhammadu Buhari, in an effort to maintain control of the financial markets.

The recent measures come amid an economic crisis in Nigeria, marked by a rapid decline in the value of the naira and inflation that has reached the highest level in almost three decades, peaking at 29.9%. The government has focused its attention on platforms offering cryptocurrency services as these sites establish an informal value for the naira, contributing to economic uncertainty.

Problems accessing crypto exchange websites

In addition to Binance, users have reported experiencing problems accessing several other crypto exchange websites. Binance responded by placing a cap on the selling price of Tether tokens on its P2P platform, a move that, despite speculation within the crypto community, was attributed to an automatic system pause.

The government’s increasing focus on Binance and other cryptocurrency exchanges comes at a time when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised concerns over “suspicious fund flows” through the platform. According to CBN head Olayemi Cardoso, an amount of $26 billion has flowed from unidentified sources through Nigeria and Binance users by 2023.

Detaining two senior Binance officials

Furthermore, the Office of the National Security Advisor (NSA) has taken steps by detaining two senior Binance officials in Abuja, as part of a broader initiative to tackle speculation over the naira and restore financial stability.

These developments have led to disappointment and criticism from local crypto analysts and enthusiasts. They argue that the country’s problems will continue as long as the government continues to oppose cryptocurrencies, instead of focusing on improving production and exports. The future of Nigeria’s crypto industry remains uncertain amid these recent disruptions and government interventions.


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