Nigeria has taken a significant step in its ongoing efforts to regulate cryptocurrency activities within its borders. The Nigerian government has directed telecommunications companies to restrict access to major cryptocurrency exchange websites, including Binance, Coinbase, and OctaFX. This move is part of a broader strategy to curb crypto transactions and speculation in the country.

Nigeria’s Crypto Landscape

Despite being one of the most crypto-savvy nations globally, Nigeria has been tightening its crypto regulations to combat financial crimes. According to ConsenSys data from last year, Nigeria was ahead of the United States and European countries in crypto adoption. However, the recent directive to block access to crypto websites marks a significant shift in the country’s approach to digital currencies.

The Central Bank’s Role

This development comes just a few months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lifted its ban on crypto transactions. The CBN had previously instructed lenders to open accounts for crypto firms, reversing a ban it had imposed in 2021. Notably, in 2021, the CBN became one of the first central banks to issue a central bank digital asset (CBDC).

User Reactions and Compliance Efforts

Following the restrictions, Nigerian users have expressed their frustrations on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter). One user noted, "Binance doesn’t work in Nigeria anymore; you just can’t open the app. I believe we know our alternative." In response to these complaints, Binance has stated that it is working to ensure regulatory compliance. The exchange emphasized its commitment to user protection through measures such as real-time monitoring, immediate removal of non-compliant advertisements, and permanent removal of bad actors from its peer-to-peer (P2P) product.

Government’s Stance

In a separate development, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, accused crypto exchanges of manipulating the naira, contributing to its depreciation in the forex market. He urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the CBN to take swift action against these platforms. In a detailed post on X, he argued that Binance, which is facing regulatory challenges in multiple countries, should not be allowed to influence the value of the naira.


Nigeria’s latest move to restrict access to major crypto exchange websites underscores the government’s determination to regulate the digital currency landscape. As the country navigates the complexities of crypto regulation, the actions taken will likely have significant implications for both local and international stakeholders.


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