Nigeria demands Binance hand over account information of top 100 local users

By bne IntelliNews March 14, 2024

Nigeria has demanded that Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange, provide comprehensive data on the top 100 users based in the country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that $26bn in untraceable funds movement through the Binance platform last year, which contributed to the country’s foreign exchange crisis. 

The move against Binance comes as Nigeria seeks to protect the value of its currency by stopping its citizens from speculating on the price of the Naira through buying cryptocurrency. The exchange is also accused of facilitating “illegal transactions” that undermine the West African nation’s financial stability.

As part of the demand, Abuja has asked Binance to provide a detailed transaction history spanning the last six months for the top users of the platform.

It is not clear whether Binance, which does not have a formal Nigerian entity, must comply with the demand, or whether it will choose to do so. 

The demand also follows the detention of two Binance executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, by the Nigerian National Security Agency. They were arrested on February 26, after arriving in Nigeria to negotiate with the government to solve the current dispute over untraceable funds.

The detained Binance executives, who have been visited by US and UK officials, are due to have a hearing on March 20. Binance has said it “cooperating with Nigerian authorities to bring Nadeem and Tigran home safely to their families”.