Nigerian Government Demands Information from Binance Amid Crackdown 

Amidst an ongoing crackdown on Binance, the Nigerian government is reportedly pressing the exchange to disclose information about its top 100 users within the country. This move comes as part of negotiations between the authorities and Binance, with Nigerian officials claiming the exchange’s operations have had a significant impact on the local currency, the Nigerian naira.

Requests and Detentions

According to a report by the Financial Times on March 13, Nigerian authorities have also demanded Binance to provide transaction histories for the past six months and address any outstanding tax liabilities. Presidential adviser Bayo Onanuga accused Binance and other crypto platforms of manipulating the naira, leading to a drastic decline in its value. He even hinted at the possibility of banning such platforms within the country.

In response to Binance’s attempts to engage in dialogue with Nigerian authorities, two senior executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, were detained. Despite Binance’s decision to delist all naira transactions and cease peer-to-peer naira transactions in late February, the executives remain in custody.

Nigerian Government Laying Out Potential Penalties

Onanuga suggested that Nigeria might seek a $10 billion fine from Binance, attributing their actions to significantly impacting the Nigerian economy. The government’s stance is to allow law enforcement agencies time and space to conduct their investigations, promising to disclose outcomes in due course.

While Binance declined to comment on the specifics of the allegations, a spokesperson stated that the exchange did not exit Nigeria but only ceased naira trading pairs and transactions. However, this move raised concerns among online users about Binance’s commitment to servicing Nigerian users.

Nigeria has emerged as one of the fastest-growing crypto economies globally, ranking second in terms of crypto adoption in 2023. However, the country faced challenges after abandoning its currency peg in June 2023, resulting in record-high inflation. As of January 2024, consumer inflation had risen for the 13th consecutive month, reaching nearly 30%, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics.