Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a firm stance against Binance Holdings Ltd., a prominent digital-assets exchange.
In a move that mirrors recent legal action by the US SEC, Nigeria’s regulatory body has declared Binance’s operations within the West African nation as illegal.
The SEC’s statement, released late Friday and prominently displayed on its official website, specifically targets Binance Nigeria Limited.
This local unit of the cryptocurrency platform, operating within Africa’s largest economy, has failed to fulfill the necessary requirements for registration and regulation.
Consequently, the SEC firmly asserts that Binance Nigeria’s operations fall outside the boundaries of the law.
This latest development adds to the mounting challenges faced by Binance, a leading player in the global digital-assets exchange landscape.
As regulatory scrutiny intensifies worldwide, the Nigerian SEC’s declaration serves as a significant blow to Binance’s operations within the region.
“Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity is doing so at his or her own risk,” the commission warned.
Despite the ban on cryptocurrency transactions for lenders in Nigeria, residents of Africa’s most populous country continue to dominate the volume of digital token transactions on peer-to-peer trading platforms outside the United States. This information comes from Paxful, an exchange that ceased operations in April.
In a recent development, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its consideration of allowing tokenized coin offerings on licensed digital exchanges. However, the commission clarified that these offerings should be backed by assets such as equity, debt, and property, but not cryptocurrencies.
“Nigerian investors are hereby warned that investing in crypto-assets is extremely risky and may result in total loss of their investment,” the SEC said in the Friday statement.
This development comes on the heels of the recent accusations leveled by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Binance Holdings Ltd. and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao. The SEC’s allegations include mishandling of customer funds, misleading investors and regulators, as well as violations of securities regulations. Binance, in response, expressed disappointment with the complaint and maintained that it had engaged in good-faith negotiations with the SEC to reach a resolution.
The Nigerian regulatory body’s decision underscores its commitment to maintaining a robust and secure investment environment for its citizens. By curtailing Binance’s investment solicitation, it aims to protect Nigerian investors from potential risks and ensure compliance with applicable regulations. The move also signifies a broader intent to uphold the integrity of the financial system and foster transparency within the cryptocurrency industry.
As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, both locally and globally, it remains to be seen how Binance will navigate these challenges and address the allegations brought against it. The outcome of this situation carries significant implications not only for Binance but also for the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem, as regulators worldwide closely monitor developments in an effort to safeguard investor interests and maintain financial stability.