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Nigeria Moves to Block Use of Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 22, 2024


(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria ordered telecommunications companies and other internet service providers in the West African nation to block access to cryptocurrency trading platforms, a presidential spokesman confirmed. 

The directive affects websites including Binance, Coinbase and Kraken, which are popular in Africa’s most populous nation where Nigerians use cryptocurrencies as a hedge against frequent devaluation of the naira. A local online newspaper, Premium Times, reported on Thursday that telecommunications providers are already implementing the order. 

“Premium Times is correct,” Onanuga said in a post on X responding to the report.

In an earlier post, Onanuga had said cryptocurrencies should be banned to stop the weakening of the local currency. The naira has lost 70% of its value since the central bank lifted its dollar peg in June in a bid to attract foreign-currency inflows. That hasn’t materialized.

“Binance, facing regulatory showdown in many countries, and causing disruptions in the currency market, should not be allowed to dictate the value of the naira, not on its crypto exchange platform” Onanuga said. “Crypto should be banned in our country or else this bleeding of our currency will continue unabated.”

The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Binance customers were experiencing difficulties accessing the platform.

--With assistance from Ruth Olurounbi.


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