In a recent twist, Nigeria has officially asked Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to pay a hefty $10 billion fine. This demand, as reported by the BBC, comes amid allegations that Binance played a crucial role in the drastic devaluation of Nigeria’s fiat currency.

The Naira, Nigeria’s currency, has taken a significant hit with a nearly 70% decline in value in recent months, a situation directly blamed on Binance by the Nigerian government.

Led by President Ahmed Tinubu, the Nigerian government claims that Binance has manipulated exchange rates, not only destabilizing the Naira but also facilitating illicit financial activities including money laundering, theft and fraud.

Taking strong action, the government has taken bold steps by detaining two top international Binance executives for investigation into charges related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pointed out that about $26 billion passed through Binance’s Nigerian operations, involving transactions that the CBN could not fully trace. This lack of transparency has raised doubts about the reliability of cryptocurrency transactions in the country, alongside existing skepticism towards the crypto industry.

Binance’s legal status in Nigeria adds an extra layer of complexity. According to Bayo Onanuga, spokesperson for President Bola Tinubu, Binance and similar entities have failed to register as required by Nigerian law. This problem became apparent after Nigeria lifted its ban on cryptocurrencies, with the requirement that all operators be properly registered.

In response to government pressure, Binance has reportedly started cooperating, removing Naira transactions from its platform and entering into discussions to comply with Nigerian regulations. While this is seen as a positive step towards resolving the dispute, the outcome and duration of the ongoing investigation remain uncertain.


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