Binance ends services in naira

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced plans to discontinue all services related to the Nigerian naira.

Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, was accused of exploiting the Nigerian currency, Naira, leading to its free fall in value.

The company is, in addition, facing allegations of terrorism financing, money laundering and tax invasion, among others.

Nigeria is one of the largest peer-to-peer crypto markets in the world. Between July 2022 and June 2023, crypto transactions in the country reached $56.7bn, according to Chainalysis.

But the company, in a statement on Tuesday, advised users to withdraw NGN, trade their NGN assets or convert NGN into crypto.

The statement read, “Users are encouraged to withdraw NGN, trade their NGN assets or convert NGN into crypto prior to the discontinuation of these NGN services.

“From 2024-03-08 08:00 (UTC), any remaining NGN balances in users’ Binance accounts will be automatically converted to USDT based on the conversion rate below.

“Binance will not support deposits of NGN after 2024-03-05 14:00 (UTC). Withdrawals of NGN will not be supported after 2024-03-08 06:00 (UTC).

“After 2024-03-08 08:00 (UTC), Binance will convert any remaining NGN balances in users’ Spot and Funding wallets into USDT on behalf of users at a ratio of 1 USDT = 1,515.13 NGN.

“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.

“The conversion may take approximately up to 24 hours or longer. USDT tokens will be credited to users’ Spot wallets thereafter, and users can confirm receipt of the tokens via the Convert History page.

“If users hold less than 0.00000001 USDT worth of NGN in their Spot and Funding wallets, they will each receive 0.00000001 USDT in their Spot wallets after the conversion.”

The PUNCH had last week reported that the Federal Government allegedly detained at least two senior executives of Binance, a crypto currency exchange company.

According to a report by Financial Times, both executives flew into Nigeria last week following a ban on their website and were arrested by officials of the office of the National Security Adviser and their passports seized.

The arrest came amidst efforts by the government to rein in speculation on the naira by cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Recently, the government through the Nigerian Communications Commission blocked the online platforms of Binance and other crypto firms to avert what it considers continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds.

It also sent operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest Bureau De Change operators at the Popular Wuse Zone 4 in Abuja.

On Monday, the executives of the foreign firm were expected to appear before the House Committee on Financial Crimes but they instead sent their lawyers to represent them.

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