Central Bank Official Criticizes Binance Operations In Nigeria

    An official at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that Binance operated illegally in multiple ways in the West African nation. This development comes amidst the ongoing legal trial of the prominent crypto exchange in Nigeria.

    Binance Violated Naira Trading Policy – CBN Official

    In April 2024, the Nigeria Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) launched a lawsuit against Binance and its executive Tigray Gambaryan, accusing both parties of tax evasion, currency speculation, and money laundering of about $34.4 million.

    Following an adjournment from June, the legal proceedings of this case resumed on Friday with the prosecution counsel introducing as a witness Dr. Olubukola Akinwunmi, Head of Payment Policy and Regulation Division at the CBN. 

    According to a report by local media Nairametrics, Akinwunmi stated that Binance violated Nigerian laws by providing deposit and withdrawal services, an activity that is restricted for banks and registered financial institutions under the strict supervision of the CBN. 

    Furthermore, Akinwunmi also commented on  Binance’s peer-to-peer feature which allowed users to swap the Nigerian Naira for assets denominated in the US dollar. The CBN employee stated that the crypto exchange required a license from the Apex bank as “an authorized giver” or “Bureau de Change” in order to offer such services in Nigeria. Akinwunmi also criticized the anonymous nature which protected the identity of users thus breaching certain Nigerian laws. 

    It’s worth stating that Binance conducts a compulsory know-your-customer identification process for all users of its P2P service and its other trading features. However, in May, Binance, alongside other exchanges, disabled their Naira P2P services following allegations of currency speculation driving up the Naira’s rapid devaluation. 

    Having examined the witness testimony, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja has directed the case be further adjourned to July 16 to allow when the defendants’ lawyers will be granted time for a cross-examination.

    Gambaryan’s Health Emerges As Major Issue

    In other news, the health status of Gambaryan has become a substantial issue at court with Justice Nwite demanding on Friday the National Correctional Services produce a medical report of the detained Binance executive.

    The Nigerian judge has warned that medical service providers at the prison will be summoned to court if this directive is not followed. Gambaryan has been detained in Kuje Prison, Abuja since April and has reportedly suffered pneumonia and malaria since then prompting investigations into his health status.

    Total crypto market cap valued at $2.025 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TOTAL chart on

    Featured image from Pulse Nigeria, chart from Tradingview 

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