Nigeria Orders Binance to Halt Operations While Hong Kong Welcomes Coinbase

by Jared Kirui
  • SEC Nigeria said the crypto exchange's operations in the region are illegal.
  • In contrast, Hong Kong welcomes beleaguered Coinbase to the country.
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Nigeria's financial regulator has ordered Binance to halt its services in the country saying the exchange was neither registered nor regulated. In a circular issued on June 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria termed the exchange's operations in the West African country as illegal.

"Binance Nigeria Limited is hereby directed to immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever," the SEC in Nigeria directed. "Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity is doing so at his or her own risk."

Binance’s Regulatory Challenges Escalate

A circular from the SEC in Nigeria was released a week after Binance alongside its CEO and Co-Founder, Changpeng Zhao, was charged by the US SEC. The charges included operating an illegal trading platform, offering unregistered securities, and comingling customers' funds. In addition, the US SEC sought a court order to freeze the assets belonging to Binance.US.

"As the regulator with the statutory mandate of investor protection, the commission urges Nigerians to be wary of investing in crypto assets, and crypto asset-related financial products and services if the service provider or its platform is not registered or regulated by the commission," the circular added.

Although it remains to be seen what action the Nigeria markets' watchdog would take against Binance Nigeria Limited, the commission has revealed that regulatory action concerning the activities of the exchange would be provided.

Nigeria Moves to Protect Investors

Amid rising crypto adoption in Africa's most populous country, the SEC in Nigeria is taking precautions to protect investors. The commission said in a report published by Bloomberg in May that it was considering allowing tokenized coin offerings backed by equity, debt, and property, but not crypto, on licensed digital asset exchanges.

However, an attempt by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to push for the adoption of a central bank digital currency (e-Naira) was met with street protests in March. This included the use of cash restrictions. CBN issued guidelines for the e-Naira in 2021 with the aim of making it legal tender if it succeeded.

Hong Kong Welcomes Coinbase

Meanwhile, Coinbase, another top exchange facing regulatory pressure in the US, has received an invite from Hong Kong's legislator to set up operations in the region, according to a post by Johnny Ng, Hong Kong's Legco member.

This is despite the exchange's lawsuit brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly operating an illegal trading platform and dealing in unregistered securities. Furthermore, Coinbase is being accused by the SEC of running a digital asset staking as a service programme without the required license.

Nasdaq to acquire Adenza; A16z's London office; read today's news nuggets.

Nigeria's financial regulator has ordered Binance to halt its services in the country saying the exchange was neither registered nor regulated. In a circular issued on June 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria termed the exchange's operations in the West African country as illegal.

"Binance Nigeria Limited is hereby directed to immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever," the SEC in Nigeria directed. "Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity is doing so at his or her own risk."

Binance’s Regulatory Challenges Escalate

A circular from the SEC in Nigeria was released a week after Binance alongside its CEO and Co-Founder, Changpeng Zhao, was charged by the US SEC. The charges included operating an illegal trading platform, offering unregistered securities, and comingling customers' funds. In addition, the US SEC sought a court order to freeze the assets belonging to Binance.US.

"As the regulator with the statutory mandate of investor protection, the commission urges Nigerians to be wary of investing in crypto assets, and crypto asset-related financial products and services if the service provider or its platform is not registered or regulated by the commission," the circular added.

Although it remains to be seen what action the Nigeria markets' watchdog would take against Binance Nigeria Limited, the commission has revealed that regulatory action concerning the activities of the exchange would be provided.

Nigeria Moves to Protect Investors

Amid rising crypto adoption in Africa's most populous country, the SEC in Nigeria is taking precautions to protect investors. The commission said in a report published by Bloomberg in May that it was considering allowing tokenized coin offerings backed by equity, debt, and property, but not crypto, on licensed digital asset exchanges.

However, an attempt by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to push for the adoption of a central bank digital currency (e-Naira) was met with street protests in March. This included the use of cash restrictions. CBN issued guidelines for the e-Naira in 2021 with the aim of making it legal tender if it succeeded.

Hong Kong Welcomes Coinbase

Meanwhile, Coinbase, another top exchange facing regulatory pressure in the US, has received an invite from Hong Kong's legislator to set up operations in the region, according to a post by Johnny Ng, Hong Kong's Legco member.

This is despite the exchange's lawsuit brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly operating an illegal trading platform and dealing in unregistered securities. Furthermore, Coinbase is being accused by the SEC of running a digital asset staking as a service programme without the required license.

Nasdaq to acquire Adenza; A16z's London office; read today's news nuggets.

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