The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused the largest cryptocurrency exchange on the market, Binance, of carrying out banking services without authorization, according to local media reports.

The CBN’s Head of Payments Policy and Regulation, Olubukola Akinwunmi, testified at the trial before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja. According to the publication, the witness revealed that deposit and withdrawal transactions from the cryptocurrency exchange should be reserved for banks and financial institutions that have authorization in the country.

It is worth noting that the Nigerian government has accused Binance and its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, of money laundering.

According to Akinwunmi’s testimony, the bank did not issue any license for Binance to conduct its operations in Nigeria. “In the course of running our operations, we typically monitor developments within the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), monitoring the activities of payment service providers and the use of the payment system.

“We note in doing so that Binance provides a trading platform where users trade virtual assets.”

“And to complete their transactions for the purpose of settling payments, users make use of the payment system for the purpose of transferring or making payments between themselves.”

The CBN’s Head of Payments Policy and Regulation further stated that the transactions are being made by users illegally. “These traders usually trade under pseudonyms that hide their identities and are not authorized by the CBN,” he noted.

It is worth remembering that Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, executives of Binance, were detained upon their arrival in Abuja on February 26. However, Anjarwalla managed to escape custody on March 22.

In March, Binance announced its decision to withdraw from the Nigerian market. The move involved discontinuing all services related to the local currency, the Nigerian Naira (NGN), marking a significant moment for both the company and local users.

This move by Binance comes amid growing regulatory pressure in the country. Nigerian authorities, including the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, have expressed concerns about illicit transactions and suspicious fund flows involving cryptocurrency platforms, specifically citing Binance. This concern resulted in the confiscation of the passports of two Binance executives in Abuja and the subsequent summoning of Binance CEO Richard Teng by the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any person mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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