Prime News Ghana

Nigerian authorities reportedly detain Binance executives

By Vincent Ashitey
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Nigerian authorities on Wednesday reportedly detained executives from the global cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance over allegations of “fixing the country’s exchange rate”.

Details of the arrest of the two executives remain murky. However, reports say they had arrived in Nigeria to discuss the suspension of the trading platform with Nigerian authorities.

The country’s Central Bank Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had on Tuesday revealed that about $26bn (£20bn) had passed through Binance Nigeria in cryptocurrency trades through “sources and users who we cannot adequately identify”.

In a Wednesday interview on local Channels Television, Bayo Onanuga, the presidential spokesman, accused the crypto platform of fixing the country’s exchange rates and assuming the role of the central bank.

“If we don’t clamp down on Binance, Binance will destroy the economy of this country. They just fix the rate,” he added.

Binance officials are yet to respond to the claims.

Last December, Nigerian authorities lifted a two-year ban imposed on cryptocurrency transactions over what they described as money laundering and terrorism financing risks posed by cryptocurrency in the country.

This government's clampdown on Binance is among the measures it believes would save the local naira currency, which has depreciated by almost 70% in the last eight months.