The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria has declared that the activities of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance are illegal within the country. The SEC issued a notice on Friday, specifically referring to the crypto exchange’s website, stating that Binance‘s operations are neither registered nor regulated by the commission. This declaration reiterates a warning issued by the SEC on June 9, which referred to a company called Binance Nigeria Ltd. Binance had clarified at the time that the company was not affiliated with it.
In addition to declaring Binance’s activities illegal, the SEC ordered all crypto platform providers to cease soliciting Nigerian citizens. This directive applies to all cryptocurrency platforms. Last year, the SEC stated that it views all cryptocurrencies as securities. While the country has been processing applications from crypto exchanges to register on a trial basis, it will not complete registration until an agreement is reached with the central bank. The central bank has blocked local financial institutions from interacting with crypto service providers.
The SEC also warned the public to be cautious when investing in crypto assets and other products offered or operated by entities not registered or regulated by the Commission. The SEC circular directed all platform providers to stop soliciting Nigerian investors immediately.
The SEC’s declaration comes amid a complex regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. The country has been processing crypto exchange applications for registration experimentally. However, full registration will not be completed until an agreement is reached with the central bank.