Nigeria Demands $10 Billion from Binance Amid Cryptocurrency Manipulation Allegations

Nigeria Demands $10 Billion from Binance Amid Cryptocurrency Manipulation Allegations

The Nigerian government has thrown down the gauntlet, demanding nearly $10 billion in compensation from the popular cryptocurrency platform, Binance. Why, you ask? Well, it seems they’ve been accused of some serious financial shenanigans.

According to Nigerian officials, Binance has been playing fast and loose with foreign exchange rates, allegedly engaging in currency speculation and rate-fixing. This, they claim, has resulted in a whopping 70% drop in the value of the naira in recent months. Ouch.

In a dramatic turn of events, two top executives from Binance were even arrested earlier this week. Talk about a plot twist! So far, Binance has been tight-lipped about the whole affair, ignoring requests for comment from the BBC.

Nigeria, being Africa’s economic powerhouse and a major player in the global cryptocurrency scene, is not one to take financial misconduct lightly. The Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor, Olayemi Cardoso, dropped a bombshell, revealing that Binance Nigeria had allegedly shifted a jaw-dropping $26 billion in untraceable funds. Now, that’s a serious accusation!

Cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria reportedly accounted for a whopping 12% of the country’s GDP in the year leading up to June 2023. That’s no small change!

While cryptocurrencies aren’t illegal in Nigeria, companies operating in the sector are required to register with the government.

President Bola Tinubu’s administration had previously lifted the peg on the naira, allowing market forces to determine its value. However, according to Bayo Onanuga, a special advisor to the president, the recent chaos in the currency market wasn’t just business as usual. He pointed fingers at Binance, suggesting that their activities were to blame for the sudden upheaval.

Nigerian crypto enthusiasts have been left in the lurch as Binance and several other cryptocurrency firms have been suspended in recent weeks. The government’s crackdown aims to stem the tide of the naira’s decline, which has sparked protests due to skyrocketing living costs.

But wait, there’s more!

The Nigerian government isn’t just concerned about the financial fallout. They’ve also raised alarms about the potential for cryptocurrency to be used for nefarious activities like money laundering and funding terrorism. According to a report by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the anonymity of crypto transactions makes it an attractive option for those with less-than-savory intentions.

In a bid to tighten the reins on foreign currency trading, Nigeria has shuttered thousands of bureaux de change. The Central Bank of Nigeria is feeling the heat to stabilize the naira, which has seen a drastic drop in value compared to a year ago.

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