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Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:29

FG Blocks Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms Over Forex Manipulation

The Nigerian government has ordered internet service providers to block access to the websites and apps of major cryptocurrency trading platforms including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

Authorities said the move aims to crack down on the alleged use of these platforms by currency speculators and money launderers to manipulate the foreign exchange market and facilitate illicit fund flows, further weakening the struggling Nigerian naira.

Sources at major telecommunication firms said they received directives from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday evening to implement the blockade of Binance, ForexTime, OctaFX, Crypto, FXTM, Coinbase, Kraken and others.

The action comes just days after the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu vowed to tackle speculative activities threatening Nigeria’s economic stability. Officials expressed concerns that criminals were exploiting crypto platforms to funnel ransom payments and engage in forex rate manipulation.

Previously, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared operations of Binance Nigeria illegal as it lacked proper registration. However, Binance continued offering peer-to-peer trading services, drawing large volumes of transactions.

The naira recently hit record lows of 1,900 per dollar on parallel markets. The Tinubu administration is seeking urgent measures to halt the currency’s freefall, curb illicit financial activities, and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

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