Nigeria’s securities regulator has warned the public against global digital asset exchange Binance, alleging it’s operating in the country illegally.
The latest notice follows a similar warning in June against Binance Nigeria by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the time, the global exchange denied any affiliations to the local entity. However, in the latest warning, the agency has cited Binance.com, the URL of the global exchange.
“The Commission again reiterates that the activities of Binance, https://www.binance.com and any such other platform through which the Company solicits investors is neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal,” the notice stated.
It’s not yet clear if the SEC is still targeting the fraudulent local clone of the global entity or if the latest warning targets Changpeng Zhao’s exchange.
The securities regulator further warned investors against digital asset investment, reminding them that “crypto-assets have a high level of risk and may result in total loss of investments.”
Despite being Africa’s largest digital asset market, Nigeria has yet to implement regulations for the sector. In its rulebook published last year, the SEC categorized all digital assets as securities. It also demanded that exchanges apply for a “no objection letter” for every asset they list.
Despite the lack of regulations, Nigeria seeks to tax digital asset investors. In its 2023 Finance Act, the government included a 10% tax that has been heavily criticized.
Binance, on the other hand, continues to battle regulatory hurdles in dozens of countries. In the U.S., it’s facing court battles with the SEC and the CFTC, and CZ’s handling of the probe has cost him some of his senior executives. In Europe, it’s facing a probe by French authorities and was forced to halt its services in the Netherlands.
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Ethereum, FTX and Tether—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.
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