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We Did Not Fine Binance $10 Billion – FG Explains What Happened

by Vicky Oselumese
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FG Denies $10 Billion Fine for Binance IN Nigeria

A Nigerian government representative has refuted recent speculation about a $10 billion fine for cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to the Nigerian president on information and strategy, clarified that the allegations reported by the BBC were a result of misquotation.

According to the People’s Gazette, Onanuga stated that his words were misrepresented and emphasized that there has not been a definitive decision to fine Binance.

Onanuga clarified that he did not inform Binance about any fines or mention a specific amount of $10 billion. He only mentioned the possibility of a fine, as nothing has been finalized yet.

The People’s Gazette also reported that Binance is unaware of any such fine and has not been officially informed. The cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly expressed reluctance to negotiate any fines with the Nigerian government.

This statement comes at a time when crypto exchanges are facing increased regulatory scrutiny in Nigeria, with several platforms recently banned to protect the country’s national currency, the Nigerian naira.

Binance, in response to the crackdown, removed the naira from its peer-to-peer service.

The peer-to-peer feature allows users to trade without involving a third party and gained popularity in Nigeria following the government’s ban on the crypto industry in 2021.

Binance has faced growing scrutiny in Nigeria, with the Central Bank expressing concerns about suspicious fund flows through the exchange’s Nigerian arm.

The National Security Adviser’s office has reportedly detained two senior Binance officials in Abuja as part of the government’s efforts to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and curb speculation about the naira.

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted a two-year ban on banks engaging in crypto transactions and issued guidelines for regulating virtual asset service providers.

Nigeria was also the second country to launch a central bank digital currency in 2022. The Africa Stablecoin Consortium introduced the naira-pegged cNGN stablecoin in a CBN regulator sandbox in February.

This article was updated 2 months ago

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