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Binance Faces Regulatory Storm as Executives Detained in Nigeria: Report

Two senior executives at Binance have been detained
in Nigeria as the country intensifies efforts to curb speculation on its
currency, the Financial Times reported. This move followed Nigeria's recent ban
on several cryptocurrency trading websites to address the rapid devaluation of
the naira and soaring inflation rates.

Cryptocurrency Crackdown in Nigeria

Nigeria's crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges
is due to a concern about the devaluation of the naira, which has contributed to a record-high inflation rate nearing 30%. Cryptocurrency websites have reportedly become an
alternative platform for trading and establishing unofficial exchange rates for
the naira. This has prompted Nigerian authorities to take action
against these websites.

The detained executives traveled to Nigeria amid the ban
on crypto trading websites but were detained upon arrival by the office
of the country's national security adviser. Consequently, Binance suspended naira trading
against Bitcoin and Tether on its platform. According to the FT,
the Nigerian authorities seized the executives' passports.

Nigeria's central bank Governor, Olayemi Cardoso,
expressed concerns about illicit financial flows through cryptocurrency
exchanges, citing $26 billion passing through Binance Nigeria in a year. The
government, including anti-corruption agencies and the police, is coordinating
an investigation into cryptocurrency exchanges.

Government's Concerns and Investigation

Recently, the advisor to the Nigerian President,
Bola Tinubu, called for a ban on cryptocurrency platforms like Binance and
KuCoin. Bayo Onanuga accused these platforms of manipulating the naira and
contributing to its decline in the foreign exchange market.

According to a report by Finance Magnates, Onanuga
urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Bank
of Nigeria to take immediate action and halt cryptocurrency exchange
operations altogether.

Onanuga highlighted Binance's past regulatory issues
in other countries, questioning its ability to operate responsibly in Nigeria.
However, Binance denied manipulating the naira, emphasizing its market-driven
approach and commitment to fair and transparent operations.

In the past, Binance has maintained its commitment
to engaging with authorities and addressing regulatory concerns. However, how this stand-off will unfold and what impact it will have on the Nigerian crypto community remain to be seen.

Meanwhile, the sentencing of Changpeng Zhao,
Binance's CEO, in a case involving money laundering charges was postponed until April 30. While the reason for the delay remains unclear, the development adds
another layer of uncertainty to the saga surrounding Zhao and Binance's
dealings with US regulators.

The US Department of Justice claims that Binance
failed to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. In addition to Zhao's
personal charges, Binance entered into a settlement with the DOJ for $4.3
billion, effectively shutting down its operations within the US.

This article was written by Jared Kirui at www.financemagnates.com.