$26 Billion of Illicit Funds Flowed Through Binance Exchange – CBN Boss Cardoso

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, of facilitating $26 billion in illicit fund flows in Nigeria. This accusation comes amidst a crackdown on crypto trading and exchanges in the country, putting Binance’s operation on hold.

Binance Sabotaging The Naira?

According to a statement by CBN boss Olayemi Cardoso, the $26 billion illicit fund flowed through Binance in 2023. The funds were from unidentified sources and have raised concerns about fund origins and user identification.

The CBN’s move comes amidst a growing dichotomy between the Nigerian Naira (NGN) and the US dollar. The Nigerian government has found it hard to attract USD to its economy, causing unprecedented hardship for the import-driven region.

So far, businesses had to shut down due to the shortage of USD in the market. This scarcity has driven several people to rely on purchasing stablecoins like USDT and USDC from crypto exchanges like Binance.

This move led to the greenback gaining predominance against the Naira, rising to 1,800 NGN at one point. The CBN is looking to plug these loopholes. Some stakeholders claim Binance’s peer-to-peer (P2P) trading sabotaged the fiat currency.

Cardoso mentioned significant collaboration among various agencies, including the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the police, and the Office of the National Security Advisor, to address the issue.

Access to the Binance website and other exchanges was blocked on February 21, with USDT P2P trading stopped a day prior. However, things have escalated in the last week.

Now, the Binance P2P platform is no longer accessible, and reports are making rounds that the NSA has detained two key executives of the exchange.

Binance’s Global Troubles Still Untamed

Besides the Binance exchange, Coinbase, OctaFX, Forextime, FXTM, Crypto.com, and Kraken have also been impacted by the Nigerian government’s decision.

The Nigerian Naira is still struggling against the US dollar, dropping 2.1% to 1,615.94. This raises the question of whether the crackdown on crypto exchanges was necessary.

Meanwhile, the global crypto trading hub faces different regulatory music in the US. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) got a federal judge’s approval to secure the $4.3 billion penalty imposed on the Binance exchange for violating anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

About Jimmy Aki PRO INVESTOR

Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He currently has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.