Nigeria’s Binance crackdown threatens Web3 industry

The aftermath of actions against Binance executives is causing concern in Nigeria, leading some investors to reconsider business deals and collaborations, especially within the web3 sector. Critics argue that the country’s business environment is perceived as risky and that the Nigerian government’s stance towards Binance serves as a warning. Lucky Uwakwe, head of Nigeria’s Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee (BICCoN), has stated this perspective, using the Binance case as an illustration.

During an interview with CryptoMoon, Uwakwe, the leader of Nigeria’s collaborative workgroup consisting of Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), Cryptography Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN), and Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), voiced apprehensions shared by investors.

Based on Uwakwe’s perspective, there are concerns among investors regarding the possibility of consequences akin to Binance’s experience when investing in local Web3 businesses. He noted that some investors have begun to sell off their existing stakes.

In February, Binance leaders Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla traveled to Nigeria due to allegations that Binance had interfered with the value of the local currency, the naira. Upon meeting with Nigerian authorities to discuss regulatory issues, both executives were arrested and charged with five offenses related to money laundering.

Uwakwe pointed out that the government’s actions towards Binance are negatively affecting the country as a whole. Instead of imposing fines on Binance, the government’s decision risks damaging the entire industry and hinders potential future advancements in favor of immediate solutions.

Uwakwe raised doubts when questioned about the executives of Binance potentially being found not guilty in the ongoing trial. In his view, this outcome seems unlikely unless specific requirements are fulfilled within the company, as seen from the government’s standpoint.

“The chances are probably 90-10, 90 for the government,10 for the Binance executives in question…”

Uwakwe pointed out that if the Binance executive is found not guilty by the judge, it’s likely that the Nigerian government will still take action against him. Such disregard for court rulings has occurred previously in matters deemed harmful to Nigeria’s peace and security.

Uwakwe explained to the global audience why the Nigerian crypto community hasn’t strongly pushed for the freedom of Binance executives. He proposed that if Binance had reached out to key organizations earlier, they could have gained backing from advocacy groups and lobbying initiatives.

The Nigerian government has clashed frequently with cryptocurrency trading platforms, leading Binance to halt its use of the naira from March 8 following negative remarks from the Nigerian authorities towards such exchanges in February.

In August 2022, Nigeria topped the global list, based on Google search data, as the most curious country about cryptocurrencies with terms like “cryptocurrency” or “purchase crypto.”

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2024-04-15 04:12