Binance restricts Nigerian crypto accounts on security concern


Hundreds of Binance users in Nigeria had their accounts restricted, on grounds of compliance with anti-money laundering and security regulations. — REUTERS/File Photo

Binance Holdings Ltd., one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, said it restricted the personal accounts of some Nigerian users to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and ensure the security of the platform for traders.

"Protection mechanisms such as know your customer, anti-money laundering measures, collaboration with law enforcement, and account restrictions are in place to ensure our community remains protected,’ the crypto exchange said in a statement on its website.

"Some 281 Nigerian accounts have been affected by these personal account restrictions, with approximately 38% of these cases restricted at the request of international law enforcement,” it said.

Many Nigerians trading on the Binance platform complained recently of inability to initiate or complete transactions.

Users from the West African nation have faced challenges trading crypto since the Central Bank of Nigeria last year asked lenders not to transact with cryptocurrency exchanges and ordered digital currency traders to shut down accounts.

Notwithstanding, Nigerians continue to use the virtual currencies to hedge against inflation and Naira slide, as well as to remit money. Individuals in the country hold the world’s highest proportion of such assets per capita, according to a survey by Statista.

Binance has resolved 79 of the account restriction cases and plans to deploy more customer service personnel and risk agents to quicken the resolution process, it said. "All non-law enforcement-related cases will be resolved within two weeks,” it said. – Bloomberg

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