Mar 5, 2024

Binance CEO Richard Teng was summoned by a committee of Nigeria's House of Representatives to appear for an investigation on alleged money laundering and financing of terrorism, according to a report from Punch.

Video transcript

OK, we're moving off to Nigeria now where two Binance executives were recently detained. And Ceo Richard Tang was summoned to appear before a committee joining us. Now is coin desk regulatory reporter Kamile Shumba with more chamomile. Welcome to first mover. Am I so excited to have you here? Yeah, thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here as well. Of course. Now we don't often talk about Nigeria on this show, but we need to do more of it. Uh Unfortunately, this time we're talking about it from a regulatory perspective, but tell us about what is happening with Binance in the region. So recently Binance has been coming under a lot of scrutiny. I say it's recent but it's not really that recent because for a while now, Binance hasn't really been allowed to operate in the country. And the SEC has said, you know, I allowed to operate in this country. But recently it's come out uh quite fiercely, I guess because like you mentioned, the the the ex executives have been detained. We don't really know the full details of that. Like they said that the reports were saying that it wasn't like they were being charged per se or being arrested. Exactly. It was more they were just being detained, their passports were taken away and it was possible that they could be like, charged in the future around allegations of operating a legal exchange as well as money laundering, terrorist financing and things like that. Is this similar to what we saw in the United States? So just for the audience to remember that Binance or settled charges with the doj and other government agencies and the charges were really around Binance operating illegally in the United States. Is this a similar situation? Is this because there are folks who maybe live in Nigeria who are accessing the exchange through alternative means. So yeah, that's a good question. Um I it's not clear yet if it's similar because it's an interesting infant stage where they're still investigating b currently, they've just been saying that they worry that the exchange has been somewhat interfering with the currency and affecting the economy over there. And essentially they don't want people to be using exchange at all. But it seems that Binance has actually had to make an announcement like a blog announcement today saying that, well, people need to actually take away their Nigerian naira assets. Um So that suggests that there was, you know, that was the activity was there on the exchange and that um they're gonna remove the sort of token pairs that they had within the naira as well. So the finance exchange seems to now be taking steps also to alleviate the scrutiny um to make sure that Nigerians aren't using this platform. So we don't know if that's gonna help the situation. But at the moment, it seems that Nigeria is still having a conversation with the exchange and nothing is set in stone from regulatory perspective. Uh I would love to hear from you Chamomile just what's going on in Nigeria. You know, we often hear about Nigeria as being one of the more crypto forward regions. A lot of folks using crypto for um different reasons in Nigeria from a regulatory perspective. Uh paint a picture for us. Yeah. No, that's a really good question from what I've heard. A lot of Nigerians have used crypto as an alternative means of sending money to relatives. They felt that it's a good way to kind of be to kind of separate themselves from what's going on with the currency with high inflation. And at one point, there was a lack of cash in the country, there was a shortage of cash. So people have turned to crypto Nigeria China analysis did a report about this also saying that Nigeria is one of the more popular countries for crypto. So I think this might have quite a big impact actually on Nigerians. So that's definitely something to keep a track on. And lastly, I want to talk a little bit about Binance, you mentioned at the beginning of the interview, but Binance is definitely familiar with regulatory uh scrutiny. They've been hopping all around the world seems like trying to dodge regulators and it's starting to catch up with the company. Uh Is this indicative of maybe more regulatory scrutiny in other regions to come or have they just been scrutinized across all regions? Finance is a tough one. I feel like for years, it's been trying to fend off regulators and it's making announcements that it wants to compare with regulators. It wants to have meeting with regulators and it has made efforts to get registered and have licenses, I believe. And I know it tried in the UK where I am based and it didn't really go too well. The S A haven't approved them and you know, they've had to kind of like prevent clients accessing everything in the UK. Like I can't even access from the UK. I can't access their blogs um in other places. So they really like put the God rails over the, the UK side of things to prevent people from getting involved. So it feels like they're trying. Um but it's hard to know if that they're doing well enough to be honest and it seems in the case of Nigeria it wasn't good enough. Caramel. Thanks so much for joining first mover. We're going to continue following the B story and the larger Africa story. So I hope that you come back on and join me again. Soon. Yeah, I thank you for having me all the best. That was Coindesk regulatory reporter, Kamile Scumbag.

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