Crypto Exchange Binance Restricts 281 Nigerian Accounts
By Sahabi Abdul
Binance, the world’s biggest crypto currencies exchange, said it restricted access to hundreds of accounts held by Nigerians based on law enforcement requests, money laundering suspicions and the requirements for knowing the customer.
“Some 281 Nigerian accounts have been affected by these personal account restrictions with approximately 38 percent of these cases restricted at the request of international law enforcement,” Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao said in a letter posted on the company’s website, specifically addressed to Nigerian customers. “We love and are devoted to our Nigerian community, but we must ensure that our users are safe.”
Issues affecting 79 of the affected accounts have already been concluded, the company said in the the statement. “All non-law enforcement-related cases will be resolved within two weeks,” it added.
More customer service and risk agents “with a great understanding of the Nigerian market” are being devoted to sorting out the outstanding issues, according to Binance.
“The Nigerian community is one that brings me great pride,” Zhao said. “Since the inception of Binance, Nigeria and Africa at large have been very special markets to us and for crypto.”
Many Nigerians have in recent years taken to investing in crypto currencies as a hedge against spiralling inflation and a relentless depreciation in the value of the naira. The Central Bank of Nigeria last year barred the country’s banks from transacting with crypto exchanges to curb exchange-rate pressures.
Nonetheless, Nigerians bought cryptos worth 1.5 billion dollars in the first 11 months of last year from the peer-to-peer trading platform, Paxful, indicating sustained interest.