Nigeria’s SEC declares Binance illegal, halts all crypto solicitations

The latest statement follows a Mariblock exclusive that detailed the events leading to the SEC’s June 9 circular.

Nigeria’s SEC declares Binance illegal, halts all crypto solicitations
Assets: SEC Nigeria | Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria, has provided clarity on its June 9 statement, this time explicitly labeling the operations of the cryptocurrency exchange “Binance (https://www.binance.com)” illegal in Nigeria.

The latest update comes on the heels of Mariblock’s exclusive story, detailing the events that preceded the June 9 statement from the SEC.

Key quote

“The Commission again reiterates that the activities of Binance, https://www.binance.com, and any such other platform through which the company solicits investors, is neither registered nor regulated by the Commission, and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal.

“Any member of the investing public dealing with the entity, making such solicitation is doing so at his/her own risk.”

State of play

  • In addition, the SEC also ordered “all” crypto to stop canvassing Nigerian investors.
“By this circular, all platform providers making such solicitations are hereby directed to immediately stop soliciting Nigerian investors in any form whatsoever.”

What they’re saying

  • Mariblock contacted Binance, asking about the next steps after the latest SEC notice. A representative of the exchange declined to comment, saying:
“Thank you so much for reaching out. Please note that we will not be commenting at this point.”

Essential background

  • The SEC’s initial notice referenced “Binance Nigeria Limited” (BNL), which turned out to be an unaffiliated entity with the global cryptocurrency exchange. The confusion was first reported by Mariblock, having spoken to the owners of BNL and Binance — the Changpeng “CZ” Zhao-owned exchange.
  • Mariblock also reported that the first SEC circular followed at least one complaint against the global exchange.
  • In response to the first circular from the regulator, CZ’s Binance sought to deflect, leading the public to believe that BNL is a scam entity that defrauds people using the Binance brand.
  • However, as Mariblock reported, BNL doesn’t have any operations. In addition, the entity, registered in December 2019, was registered for arbitrage purposes in the event that Binance would establish operations in Nigeria, which never happened.