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FG Directs Binance to Provide Transaction Data of Top 100 Users

 

In a significant development, the federal government has demanded detailed transaction information from Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, regarding its top 100 users in Nigeria and their six-month transaction history. This request, disclosed by the Financial Times, forms a pivotal aspect of ongoing negotiations between the Nigerian government and Binance.

 

Tensions escalated between the government and Binance in recent weeks, with the government accusing the exchange of undermining efforts to stabilize the local currency, the naira. The conflict arose when Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on information and strategy, called for the prohibition of Binance and other crypto platforms in Nigeria, alleging that Binance was manipulating exchange rates and encroaching upon the Central Bank of Nigeria’s jurisdiction.

 

Subsequently, CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso revealed that a staggering $26 billion had passed through Binance from unidentified sources, prompting collaborative efforts between the apex bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and security agencies to prevent manipulation in the foreign exchange market.

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Amidst mounting pressure, Binance ceased all naira transactions on its platform after reports emerged of the government demanding $10 billion in retribution for alleged illegal transactions in Nigeria.

 

In parallel, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Nigeria is urging Binance to settle any outstanding tax liabilities, underscoring the government’s commitment to restoring confidence in the naira and stabilizing the FX rate.

 

Meanwhile, two senior Binance executives, Nadeem Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan, have been detained by Nigerian authorities for over three weeks. Both executives, held without formal charges, await clarity on their situation amidst extended detention beyond court orders. Anjarwalla’s wife expressed frustration over the lack of action from British authorities, urging swift intervention to resolve the ordeal.

 

As the saga unfolds, the Nigerian government emphasizes the importance of allowing law enforcement agencies the necessary time and space to conclude their investigations, promising transparency in due course.

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