Nigeria Slaps $10 Bln Fine on Binance for Forex “Crisis” Role

Nigeria hits Binance with a massive $10 billion fine over allegations the crypto exchange illegally profited from forex activities that worsened the country's crippling currency crisis.

Key Insights

  • Nigeria has fined global cryptocurrency exchange Binance $10 billion for allegedly profiting from illegal forex trading
  • Binance allegedly facilitated transactions in Nigeria while unregistered locally
  • Nigerian authorities claim Binance earned substantial profits from unspecified “illegal transactions”

ABUJAΒ (MarketsXplora) – Nigeria has imposed a $10 billion penalty on global cryptocurrency exchange Binance over allegations it profited from illegal forex trading that exacerbated the country’s currency crisis, a top official said on Friday.

Bayo Onanuga, senior adviser to President Bola Tinubu, said in a BBC interview that Binance facilitated transactions in Nigeria while unregistered locally, negatively impacting the naira’s value.

Onanuga claimed unspecified “illegal transactions” by Binance earned substantial profits during Nigeria’s economic slump, when the naira plummeted nearly 70% over months amid chronic dollar shortages that spooked investors.

The presidency adviser said Binance had cooperated with authorities and shared useful information, while suspending naira transactions on its platform.

Read also!Β Nigeria Demands Binance Hand Over Data on Top 100 Users

Nigeria’s national security adviser (NSA) is coordinating investigations by security agencies into Binance, an NSA official confirmed separately to Premium Times newspaper.

In recent years, Binance became a key platform used by Nigerians for trading crypto against the local currency as the naira weakened sharply due to low oil prices and dollar shortfalls.

Onanuga called the $10 billion penalty – representing around 3.5% of Nigeria’s 2021 GDP – justified by the damage from Binance’s alleged role in exchange rate speculation that made the crisis worse.

Tinubu’s government, which came to power last year pledging to strengthen the economy, said unregistered crypto exchanges have no right fixing rates and undermining central bank authority.

The fine and investigation caps a week that saw Nigerian authorities detain two visiting Binance executives in a major sign of crypto industry groups falling under intensifying official scrutiny.

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