Binance officially delists the Nigerian naira and discontinues all NGN services amidst a legal feud

Binance officially delists the Nigerian naira and discontinues all NGN services amidst a legal feud

Management of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance, has officially delisted the Nigerian Naira (NGN) from its platform, withdrawing all services associated with the Nigerian currency.

This comes amidst a prolonged legal battle with the Nigerian government over regulatory concerns, which bothered chiefly with the rate at which the dollar was sold and its equivalent to the Nigerian currency on the trading platform.

Binance, which is used by millions of Nigerians for peer-to-peer, P2P transactions, and several other trading purposes, had earlier been accused by the Nigerian government of manipulating the naira’s foreign exchange rate through currency speculation and rate fixing. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Olayemi Cardoso, at the end of a recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in Abuja, reportedly told journalists that about $26 billion flowed through Binance Nigeria over the past year from ‘unknown sources.’

These and several other issues formed the basis upon which the Nigerian government blocked the online platforms of Binance and other crypto firms, disabling Binance’s website and making it inaccessible in Nigeria. This development has raised concerns while beingconsidered detrimental to several Nigerian youths.

Before the Nigerian government’s actions against the crypto exchange platform, the dollar sold for as much as over 1,800 naira in the parallel market, raising more speculation over its involvement in what the government, through the CBN Governor, described as a continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds. Cardoso said that the government’s action was to salvage the economy while saving the naira from a total crash, giventhe Nigerian currency’s continued decline in recent times.

The government has also been weary over a recent report by Chainalysis, which disclosed that between July 2022 and June 2023, crypto transactions in the country reached $56.7 billion, which cannot be accounted for. The government is therefore requesting from the exchange platform a report of transactions for at least the last five years, having detained two of Binance’s senior staff who recently flew into the country as soon as the Nigerian government halted their operations.

According to reports, both executives were arrested by officials of the Office of the National Security Adviser, and their passports were seized.

But while the controversy lingers, Binance has advised its users to withdraw all their Nigerian Naira (NGN) assets, trade them, or convert them into crypto.

This was contained in a notification shared across Binance’s online platforms and sent as an email to its Nigerian users. It read, in part:

“Binance will discontinue all Nigerian Naira (NGN) services as per the timeline below.

Users are encouraged to withdraw NGN, trade their NGN assets, or convert NGN into crypto before the discontinuation of these NGN services.

This affects NGN services only; you can continue to make use of services and products for other available cryptocurrencies.

Binance will not support deposits of NGN after 2024-03-05 14:00 (UTC).

Binance Auto-Invest will delist NGN after 2024-03-06 03:00 (UTC).

Binance will remove NGN from the list of supported payment options on Binance Pay at 2024-03-06 03:00 (UTC).

NGN Spot Trading pairs (i.e., BTC/NGN and USDT/NGN) will be delisted at 2024-03-07 03:00 (UTC).

Withdrawals from NGN will not be supported after 2024-03-08 06:00 (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 after 2024-03-08 08:00 (UTC).”

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

The company added that “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.”

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