Nigerian Crypto Community Divided on Binance User Data Request

The Nigerian government has requested that Binance, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, disclose information about its top 100 users in the country as part of an ongoing crackdown. This request has sparked a range of opinions among cryptocurrency stakeholders in Nigeria. Rume Ophi, a crypto analyst, believes that the government has the right to make such requests in the interest of national security. Not all local crypto enthusiasts agree with this viewpoint.

Chukwumaeze Dike, a cybersecurity specialist and crypto enthusiast, finds the government’s request surprising and doubts that Binance will comply. Olumide Adesina, a finance professional, has taken to social media to inform Binance users about the specified terms for disclosing such information through the company’s Government Law Enforcement Request System.

According to the system, Binance may share user information with various entities, including courts, law enforcement authorities, and regulators, to comply with laws and respond to law enforcement requests. Nigerian authorities are specifically requesting information on Binance’s top 100 users and their transaction history over the past six months. Nathaniel Luz, the CEO of Flincap, a liquidity platform for crypto exchanges, suggests that the authorities are looking for potential market manipulation of the naira/dollar exchange rate and the trading activities of these individuals.

Bayo Onanuga, a presidential adviser, accuses Binance and other crypto platforms of manipulating the naira and causing a significant decline in the local fiat currency. He even proposes banning platforms like Binance in the country. Nigeria has experienced significant growth in its crypto economy, becoming one of the fastest-growing in the world. It is also ranked second in terms of crypto adoption in 2023. In fact, in August 2022, Nigeria was identified as the most crypto-obsessed country based on Google searches for “cryptocurrency” or “buy crypto.”

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