Nigeria’s SEC said Binance Nigeria Limited is neither registered nor regulated and its operations in Nigeria are illegal.
The order against Binance Nigeria Limited comes days after the US SEC sued Binance and its founder CZ.
Nigeria’s SEC had previously said it viewed all crypto assets to be securities by default.
According to a Friday circular from Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Binance’s Nigerian branch has been told to stop all operations immediately.
The circular stated that Binance Nigeria Limited’s operations in Nigeria were unlawful because it was neither registered with nor subject to regulation by the Commission. The circular by the SEC states:
“Binance Nigeria Limited is neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal. Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity is doing so at his/her own risk.
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/its platform is not registered or regulated by the Commission. Nigerian investors are hereby warned that investing in crypto-assets is extremely risky and may result in a total loss of their investment.
By this circular, Binance Nigeria Limited is hereby directed to immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever.”
Binance under siege
Binance Nigeria is the second Binance branch to be accused of operating unlicensed activities. On Monday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance, its US affiliate, and its founder Changpeng Zhao violating the securities laws in the country.
The US SEC has gone further to request for the assets of Binance.US to be frozen. It is currently looking for an alternative way to serve Changpeng Zhao with the court sermon.
Nigeria’s SEC stand on cryptocurrencies
While this is the first action taken by Nigeria’s SEC against a cryptocurrency exchange platform, the SEC had previously stated that it considers all crypto assets to be securities by default.
Bloomberg reported in May that Nigeria’s SEC was processing registration applications from crypto firms on a trial basis but would not begin doing so formally until it had reached an agreement with the nation’s central bank.
Currently, it is against the law for banks in Nigeria to provide services to cryptocurrency platforms.