Binance says Nigeria ‘not yet one of its top markets,’ despite high crypto adoption in African country

Binance said Nigeria is not one of its top markets amid recent issues with authorities in the African country.

In a March 13 statement, the exchange revealed its extensive cooperation with local law enforcement agencies to promote the responsible growth of crypto in Nigeria.

Over the past weeks, Binance and the Nigerian authorities have been engaged in an acrimonious dispute over its operations in the region. The conflict reached a boiling point when authorities accused Binance of manipulating the local fiat currency, leading to the detention of two senior executives from the exchange.

Nigeria matters, but it is not a top market.

The Richard Teng-led crypto platform said, “Nigeria is not yet one of Binance’s top markets.” However, it admitted that the country has “extraordinary potential” and hopes to keep investing in the country.

Binance’s statement is surprising, considering Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and largest economy. The African country’s young population has propelled its crypto adoption to record highs despite regulatory pushbacks, with Chainalysis ranking the country second on its global crypto adoption index.

Meanwhile, the statement is likely an attempt to challenge Nigerian authorities over their excessive demands. The government recently requested that Binance provide information on the top 100 users in the country.

Besides that, a government spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, recently suggested that the authorities might impose fines of up to $10 billion on the crypto trading platform.

Although Binance still operates in the country, the exchange has shown it can choose to exit. A few weeks ago, it suspended all Naira-related services on its platform.

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Cooperation with law agencies

Binance highlighted its cooperation with Nigerian law enforcement agencies since June 2020, revealing that it responded to 626 information requests and restricted 281 accounts belonging to Nigerian residents over suspicious activities.

According to the exchange:

“The information we provided helped a vast range of agencies, such as the Nigeria Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and INTERPOL Nigeria to tackle crimes ranging from scams and fraud to money laundering, blackmail, kidnapping, and extortion. “

The exchange also claimed to have organized physical and online training workshops for these law enforcement agencies to ensure the space’s sanctity.

Binance concluded its statement by urging the government to engage with crypto firms with a “proven track record of constructive collaboration” and allow the booming fintech industry to have “harmonious growth” with global players like itself.

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