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Nigerian Regulator Labels Binance Affiliate’s Local Operations Illegal


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Nigerian Regulator Labels Binance Affilate's Local Operations Illegal

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission has said crypto exchange Binance’s local affiliate “is neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal.” The regulator has also said anyone who continues to deal with Binance Nigeria is “doing so at his/her own risk.”

Nigeria’s SEC Labels Crypto an ‘Extremely Risky’ Asset Class

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission has said the crypto exchange’s local affiliate is operating illegally. In a circular issued on June 9, the Nigerian regulator discouraged local residents from dealing with Nigeria. The announcement by the Nigerian regulator came less than 24 hours after Binance’s beleaguered U.S. affiliate was forced to suspend dollar deposits and withdrawals.

In addition to branding the affiliate’s operations illegal, the Commission also warned Nigerians of the risks of investing in crypto assets or related products, particularly when the service provider is not registered or regulated by the SEC. The regulator meanwhile reiterated its message against investing in an asset class which it described as “extremely risky.” To Binance’s Nigerian affiliate, the regulator said:

By this circular, Binance Nigeria Limited is hereby directed to immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever.

The regulator also promised to provide updates on further “regulatory actions against Binance Nigeria and other similar platforms.”

The move by the Nigerian SEC adds to Binance’s woes which climaxed when the U.S. launched a lawsuit against the giant crypto exchange and its affiliates. The U.S. regulator has also sought an emergency court injunction that would allow it to freeze assets held by Binance U.S.

Nigerian Blockchain Association Applauds Commission’s Decision

Meanwhile, the Nigerian blockchain and crypto association, the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), has said it welcomes the Commission’s decision which shows that the SEC “is watching the market and want to ensure the market is properly regulated.”

However, in a statement that has since been withdrawn, the SIBAN editorial team said the regulator should also consider working with the local stakeholders when drafting regulations. According to the team, doing this “enable[s] local businesses to thrive in the digital asset market.”

The SIBAN team also requested the SEC “consider putting systems in place to support that national blockchain policy.” The team added that it is willing to work with the SEC “for the greater good of our nation.”

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