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Nigerian markets regulator ends local Binance operations

Binance Nigeria Limited is hereby directed to immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever,” stated the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday. The statement added that the company was not registered or regulated, rendering its operations in the country, illegal.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been ordered to cease operations in Nigeria by the country’s markets regulator, who claimed a local subsidiary that solicited Nigerian investors via a website was unlawful.

In an effort to strike a balance between outright banning cryptocurrency assets and their unrestricted use, Africa’s largest demographic power, Nigeria, published a set of legislation for digital assets last year.

That came when the central bank of Nigeria prohibited banks and other financial organizations from dealing in or supporting transactions involving digital currency in 2021.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States filed a lawsuit against Binance and Coinbase last week, alleging 13 violations of the rule against Binance, its US subsidiary, and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

This comes after the significant bankruptcy of FTX, a platform that had long before slipped through the regulatory cracks, and following the declaration by US federal authorities in February that they intended to bring order to the cryptocurrency sector.

Africa: fastest growing crypto market?

Bitcoin is a desirable alternative to traditional banking because, according to the cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, almost 50% of Africans do not have access to it.Cellular companies have created a patchwork system based on mobile wallets and payments linked to phone numbers to close the banking gap, but the majority of these systems aren’t compatible, making it expensive or subject to currency controls to transfer or receive money internationally.

According to Coinbase, “with 6% of all transactions being peer-to-peer, more than double the share of the next closest region,” Sub-Saharan Africa is among the crypto marketplaces with the greatest growth rates worldwide.

Inflation is another significant factor. Cryptocurrency is a feasible alternative because several nations, like Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, and Ethiopia, experience severe currency inflation.

To combat monetary volatility and inflation, cryptocurrencies are thriving in Zimbabwe. Despite the IMF’s warning, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe sold digital tokens backed by gold for 14 billion Zimbabwean dollars, or around 39 million USD.

The gold-backed cryptocurrency tokens, which were first announced in April, can be purchased for as little as $10 from an individual or $5,000 from a business or other organization.

According to Coinbase, Africa has emerged as an epicenter for crypto adoption as entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa are leading the charge.

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