Nigeria’s SEC warns against ‘Binance’ — just not that Binance

The Nigerian capital market regulator says “Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity is doing so at his/her own risk.”

Nigeria’s SEC warns against ‘Binance’ — just not that Binance
Asset: SEC Nigeria; Binance

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria has warned the public regarding the operations of Binance Nigeria Limited, which the commission says is soliciting Nigerians “to trade crypto assets on its various web and mobile-enabled platforms.”

While it’s glaring that the SEC notice targets the global cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Mariblock can reveal that the entity addressed in the publication — Binance Nigeria Limited — is unaffiliated with the entity operating Binance.com.

Be smart

  • Despite the name mix-up, Mariblock can further reveal the SEC’s circular comes on the back of at least one complaint filed with the commission about the crypto exchange.

Fast facts

  • SEC warns citizens about risks in crypto investments, stressing potential loss of funds.
  • As part of its statement, the commission ordered Binance Nigeria Limited to stop soliciting Nigerian investors immediately.
  • SEC added that it would provide updates on regulatory actions against Binance Nigeria Limited and similar platforms, collaborating with Nigerian regulators to offer further guidance.

Dive in

  • A Binance spokesperson told Mariblock:
“We are aware of the circular. However, the entity mentioned in the circular [Binance Nigeria Limited] is not affiliated with us. We are therefore seeking clarity from the Nigerian SEC and remain committed to working with them cooperatively on the next steps. 

Most importantly, we want to remind users that their assets on Binance are safe, accessible and secure. Our greatest priority will always be to deliver for our users.”
  • Mariblock consulted the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria’s database to fact-check that the entity “Binance Nigeria Limited” indeed exists.
  • While a search returned a match, the company, registered in December 2019, is inactive.
  • Mariblock contacted one of the individuals listed as officers of Binance Nigeria Limited to verify the company’s affiliation with Binance, the global exchange.
  • He confirmed to Mariblock that Binance Limited Nigeria is unaffiliated with the global exchange, adding that he registered the company for arbitrage purposes.
“The company [Binance Nigeria Limited] is not affiliated to Binance. It was only registered for arbitrage reasons when we thought Binance might want to set up operations in Nigeria. But that did not happen, and as you can see, it [Binance Nigeria Limited] is inactive.”

Zoom out

  • The SEC circular comes amidst a larger regulatory scramble at Binance.
  • The United States SEC sued the crypto exchange, alleging that the Changpeng Zhao-founded company broke U.S. securities laws.
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