Nigeria Blocks Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase in Bid to Strengthen Naira

Nigeria has ordered telecoms companies to cut off access to leading crypto trading platforms like Binance and Coinbase in a bid to crack down on the sector and strengthen its embattled naira currency.

Key Insights

  • Nigeria ordered telecoms companies to block access to major cryptocurrency trading platforms like Binance and Coinbase.
  • The crackdown aims to bolster the embattled Nigerian naira currency and curb unregulated crypto flows.
  • Platforms affected include Kraken, Octa FX, FXTM, and others due to concerns they weaken the naira and enable illicit transfers.

ABUJA (MarketsXplora) – Nigeria has ordered telecoms companies to cut off access to leading cryptocurrency trading platforms Binance, ForexTime, Coinbase, and several others in a broad crackdown on the sector to bolster its embattled naira currency.

Major telecoms operators had started blocking platforms by Wednesday evening on the order of Nigeria’s communications commission, sources at the companies told MarketsXplora.

Apart from global exchange leader Binance, platforms affected included ForexTime (FXTM), OctaFX,, Kraken and others offering unregulated digital asset transactions, the sources said.

The move caps a week of increasingly hawkish policies aimed at curbing naira weakness by targeting unregulated crypto flows and foreign exchange speculation.

Regulators say large informal crypto trading in Nigeria is leaving the struggling naira vulnerable to arb activity and illicit transfers, as speculators bypass formal bank channels.

Read also! Nigeria Detains Two Binance Executives Amid Crypto Crackdown

They believe unregulated firms have outsized influence in weakening the currency, especially during periods of volatility. After a 2022 crypto ban for banks was lifted, Nigeria rapidly grew into the world’s second-largest bitcoin market as informal trading surged.

The central bank ordered banks on Friday to freeze the accounts of persons or entities transacting in crypto and to expose their identities, sources told MarketsXplora.

Just days before, Nigeria’s securities regulator reminded the public most crypto companies had no local operating licence, despite growing adoption, especially among the young tech-savvy population.

Industry figures show crypto converted to local naira averaged daily volumes of $160 million in the past week on just one exchange, Binance, with the naira trading unusually wide versus the black market.

Read also! Binance Yield to Nigeria Regulators, Limits USDT to Naira Rate

Wednesday’s blockade took the majority of these users by surprise, as Binance processes over 80% of Nigerian crypto traffic and has seen exponential growth on links to Africa’s biggest economy. Its low fees and ease of small ticket transactions have found particular traction.

ByBit, OKX, and Luno also told MarketsXplora they were restricted. Some exchanges saw traffic shift as users began installing Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to circumvent the action.

Nigeria is battling dollar shortages and economic headwinds that have hammered the naira and stoked inflation, driving government efforts to shore up the currency against speculation.

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