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Nigeria Clarifies Position on Alleged $10 Billion Binance Fine

The Nigerian government clarifies that no final decision has been made on a $10 billion fine against crypto exchange Binance, amid increasing regulatory scrutiny in the country.

Key Points:

  • Clarification on Fine: The Nigerian government has clarified that there has been no final decision regarding a $10 billion fine on crypto exchange Binance. The clarification came from Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to the Nigerian president on information and strategy, who stated that previous reports were the result of a misquotation.
  • Misrepresentation of Statement: Onanuga highlighted that his earlier comments were misrepresented, explaining that he had only mentioned the possibility of a fine against Binance, but nothing has been finalized. This counters earlier reports that suggested a definitive penalty had been imposed.
  • Binance's Response: Binance reportedly has not been informed of any fines by the Nigerian government and has expressed reluctance to negotiate any fines, indicating a disconnect between the exchange and the Nigerian authorities.
  • Regulatory Scrutiny: The situation unfolds against a backdrop of increasing regulatory scrutiny on crypto exchanges in Nigeria. The government has recently taken measures to protect the national currency, the Nigerian naira, by banning multiple crypto platforms.
  • Removal of Naira from Binance P2P: Amid the regulatory crackdown, Binance removed the naira from its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading service. This move reflects the growing challenges for crypto exchanges operating in Nigeria.
  • Concerns from Central Bank of Nigeria: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised alarms over “suspicious flows” of funds through Binance's Nigerian operations, with $26 billion reportedly moving through the exchange in 2023 from unidentified sources.
  • Detention of Binance Officials: Reports indicate that two senior Binance officials were detained in Abuja, pointing to intensified actions against cryptocurrency exchanges by the Nigerian government.
  • Regulatory Developments: Despite these challenges, the CBN lifted a two-year ban on banks' involvement in crypto transactions in December 2023, signaling a complex regulatory landscape for digital currencies in Nigeria.


Nigeria's stance on cryptocurrencies has been evolving, marked by regulatory challenges and efforts to integrate digital currencies into the financial system. The country was one of the first to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2022, highlighting its commitment to exploring the potential of digital finance while maintaining regulatory oversight.


The situation with Binance underscores the delicate balance that countries like Nigeria are trying to achieve between fostering innovation in the cryptocurrency space and protecting their financial systems from potential risks. The clarification from the Nigerian government regarding the alleged fine on Binance reflects the ongoing negotiations and uncertainties in the regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrencies.


For investors and users of cryptocurrency platforms in Nigeria, the developments signal a period of uncertainty and potential changes in how crypto exchanges operate within the country. It also highlights the broader challenges facing the global cryptocurrency market as it navigates varying regulatory landscapes across different jurisdictions.