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Binance to discontinue ALL naira transactions from March 8

Binance to discontinue ALL naira transactions from March 8
March 05
13:21 2024

Binance Nigeria has announced plans to cease all services in naira, the country’s local currency, from March 8, 2024.

The cryptocurrency platform announced the decision on its website on Tuesday.

According to Binance, naira withdrawals will be officially suspended after March 8.

The development comes amid the federal government’s clampdown on the crypto exchange over “regulatory breaches”.

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“From March 8, any remaining NGN balances in users’ Binance accounts will be automatically converted to the Tether stablecoin,” the statement reads.

The exchange encouraged users to withdraw their naira funds, trade their naira assets or convert them to crypto before the discontinuation of these NGN services.

“Please note that the conversion rate is calculated based on the average closing price of the USDT/NGN trading pair on Binance Spot in the last seven days,” Binance added.

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Binance also said it would immediately suspend naira deposits, as such, transactions will not be supported after 2:00 pm UTC on Tuesday, March 5 2024.

According to the company, all trading pairs involving naira are set to be removed from its platform on March 7, 2024.

The organisation said its payment service — Binance Pay — will also remove naira from the list of supported payment options on March 6, 2024, adding that its peer-to-peer platform delisted all NGN trading pairs in late February.

Binance is currently facing significant scrutiny by the Nigerian authorities over allegations of infractions in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) regulations.

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Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on information and strategy, on February 21, 2024, said Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms should be banned from operating in the country

He said Binance is “blatantly setting exchange rate for Nigeria,” and hijacking the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The special adviser also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the CBN to move against the platforms, adding that the firms are trying to “manipulate our national currency to ground zero”.

Also on February 27, 2024, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the CBN, said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year.

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Cardoso said the apex bank is collaborating with the SEC to ensure there is no manipulation in the FX market.

He said the CBN was also collaborating with different agencies including the EFCC, the police, and the office of the NSA to sanitise the FX market.

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On March 1, 2024, the federal government reportedly demanded at least $10 billion as retribution from Binance for profiting from “its illegal transactions” in Nigeria — days after two top executives of the crypto platform were detained.

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