Binance Takes Legal Action Against Fraudulent Nigerian Entity – What's Going On?
Crypto giant Binance has issued a cease and desist notice against Binance Nigeria Limited, a “scam entity.” purporting to be associated with Binance.
On June 9, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered Binance to halt its operations of the local entity in the African country.
The SEC said in its circular that the exchange was courting local investors through an illegal website.
The financial regulator informed Binance that their local entity, “Binance Nigeria Limited,” was not registered or regulated.
However, it now seems that the entity was not officially associated with Binance.
Binance Assures Panicked Customers
Following the announcement of the cease and desist order against Binance Nigeria Limited, Binance CEO CZ received a flood of messages from concerned customers in Africa on his Twitter feed.
They asked Binance to clarify if this will affect trading on Binance’s app in Nigeria.
However, Binance reassured customers that this does not change anything and their assets are safe on the app.
Bloomberg reported last month that Nigeria's SEC has plans to allow licensed crypto exchanges to list crypto tokens backed by real assets.
Nigeria has remained a hub for crypto enthusiasts despite the central bank’s crackdown on the industry over the years.
However, the regulators are now mulling over fresh regulations to welcome digital assets.
Binance’s Regulatory Woes Continue
The Nigerian SEC’s circular against Binance in Nigeria came only a few days after the US SEC announced 13 charges against the crypto exchange.
US SEC’s charges against Binance could decide the future of CZ’s empire.
The crypto exchange giant is being accused of running an illegal exchange, broker-dealer and clearing agency in the country. The exchange is also being accused of misrepresenting trading controls.
The lawsuit claims that CZ and Binance used a web of firms to control Binance.US’s funds.
The legal fight between the financial regulator and the world’s largest exchange has already begun.
Binance scored a win last week when a US court allowed an agreement between the exchange and the SEC, resulting in revoking the financial regulator’s request to freeze all funds on Binance.US.
As per the agreement reached by the two parties, Binance.US can not allow Binance Holdings officials to have access to private keys for its hardware wallets or root access to Binance.US's Amazon Web Services tools.
Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC's enforcement division said in a statement that Binance and CZ controlled the US customers’ assets and diverted and commingled these funds as they pleased.
These prohibitions are necessary to protect customers’ assets, he added.
Binance is not alone battling the US SEC and its chair Gary Gensler at the moment, Coinbase, the largest US-based crypto exchange, is also engaged in an existential battle with the regulatory agency.
It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that the future of the crypto industry in the United States hangs in balance on these two US SEC lawsuits.