February 22, 2024

Forex Crisis: EFCC, CBN should clamp down on Binance, other crypto firms – Onanuga

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Bayo Onanuga

Special adviser to the president on information and strategy, Bayo Onanuga has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to clamp down on the online platforms of Binance and other cryptocurrency companies for alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

Binance is a digital asset marketplace that acts as a conduit for peer-to-peer exchanges, enabling users to express interest in buying or selling any cryptocurrency.

According to Onanuga, cryptocurrency services like Bybit and Kucoin ought to be prohibited from functioning within the nation’s cyberspace.

Onanuga on his verified “X” page on Wednesday, said: “The Naira-Dollar manipulators — I chanced on an X post Tuesday night by one Brother Bernard @Mikael C Bernard who railed against what he called the order of the EFCC, NSA on Finance to set a cap on traders selling USD tokens for Naira equivalent.

“He disclosed that token sellers have migrated to Telegram and were selling Naira at N1850 and above.

“He did not stop there, he lashed out at the Nigerian authorities over the efforts to arrest the slide of the Naira. He wrote: “If this is how they plan to save the naira, I’m sorry but it’s going to fail woefully. Binance was only a medium. If you block Binance, people will find new ways. This whole policy is absolutely ridiculous. Naira is going to zero.

“Naira going to Zero? Is the owner of this account a Nigerian patriot? I checked Bernard’s profile. He says he is “Building something for migrants” and he is the “Chief Commander of Japa”. Bernard also posted a web link www.

“My curiosity has paid off. Bernard is one of those implacable supporters of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s opponents in the last election, still having an axe to grind; otherwise, why will any patriotic Nigerian wish that “Naira is going to Zero.”

“On Tuesday, Bernard shared Naira-Dollar rates on some unidentified platforms, possibly Telegram, where Naira is being traded at N1900-N1950 to a US dollar.

“He also enjoined forex traders or token holders to move their funds to “kucoin or bybit or your own cold wallet.

“Today, Bernard reported again that Binance has removed Tuesday’s cap and has now put another cap on the Naira-dollar exchange. It is now N1892, he said, with a trading range of N1392 and N1892.

“He was not happy about the new cap and attacked Binance: “Binance continues their games with Nigerians. Caps at 1892 when clearly the exchange rate is almost 2000/$ on other platforms. Trade elsewhere (NFA)”.

“He retweeted a post by ‘Olumide capital’, who said Binance “distances itself from the forex debacle in Nigeria. Olumide reported that Binance said its platform is “market-driven and not intended to be a proxy for currency pricing in Nigeria.”

“Binance which is blatantly setting exchange rates for Nigeria, hijacking CBN role, is a cryptocurrency trading platform and suffers access limitations from multiple jurisdictions, such as the US, Singapore, Canada, and the UK.

“According to Data Wallet, Binance is prohibited in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority from conducting any regulated activities. In Japan, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) banned Binance from operating without the necessary regulatory approval.

“Ontario, Canada, has also suspended Binance services following its inability to meet the province’s securities regulation criteria. The Monetary Authority of Singapore also banned Singaporean investors from accessing Binance’s services.

“Binance, facing regulatory showdown in many countries, and causing disruptions in the currency market, should not be allowed to dictate the value of the Naira, not on its crypto exchange platform. Other crypto platforms such as Kucoin, Bybit should be banned from operating in our cyberspace. FX platform Aboki should be re-banned.

“The EFCC and the CBN should move against these platforms trying to manipulate our national currency to Ground Zero. Crypto should be banned in our country or else this bleeding of our currency will continue unabated.”

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