Binance Nigeria Moved $26B Worth of Untraceable Funds in 2023, Central Bank Chief Says: Reports

The country's facing a crippling foreign exchange crisis and looking for ways to limit capital outflows, including via crypto.

AccessTimeIconFeb 28, 2024 at 1:56 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:18 p.m. UTC
  • In 2023, billions of dollars worth of crypto from sources that can’t be “adequately” identified flowed through Binance in Nigeria, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
  • The West African country faces a foreign exchange crisis and is looking for ways to restrict capital outflows.

Last year, $26 billion worth of untraceable funds flowed through Binance Nigeria, the country’s central bank governor, Olayemi Cardoso, has said, according to multiple local media reports.

The West African nation is facing a foreign exchange crisis and is looking for ways to limit outflows as the naira, the local currency, hit record lows on Wednesday. In addition to measures such as imposing levies on expat workers, renewed calls to restrict crypto in the country made headlines recently, with reports emerging that user access to certain crypto exchanges – including Binance – was blocked locally.

Nigeria has historically been a fast adopter of crypto despite various local efforts to limit its use.

“We are concerned that certain practices go on that indicate illicit flows going through a number of these entities and suspicious flows at best. In the case of Binance, in the last one year alone, $26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify,” Cardoso said.

Last year, the country’s securities watchdog warned that the activities of Binance and an entity called Binance Nigeria Limited were illegal.

The CBN is working with various government agencies and the police to investigate these fund flows further, as the local news outlet Nairametrics reported.

CoinDesk has reached out to Binance for a comment.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.