Binance Denies Rumour of a $10B Fine From Nigeria

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Leading crypto exchange Binance has refuted claims by the Nigerian government that it is negotiating with her over a $10 billion fine allegedly slapped on the exchange. In a release on Friday, a Binance spokesperson noted that it was in talks with the country but was unaware of the claimed fine.

The spokesperson’s release contradicted an earlier statement by the Nigerian president’s special adviser on information and strategy, Bayo Onanuga, to BBC News, claiming that the government had imposed a fine on the biggest exchange in the world.

“We recently discussed ways to resolve issues with Nigeria, but we did not hear any demand for $10 billion,” the Binance official stated.

Binance Reluctant to Negotiate

The Binance official further revealed that the exchange was not looking to pay fines so that the Nigerian government could reinstate its services in the country. The spokesperson also noted that Binance was not negotiating for the release of its executives held hostage by law enforcement agencies over their involvement in dollar/naira price manipulation.

“Our aim is to chart a good relationship with the government and the people of Nigeria. We want to see our services restored in Nigeria very soon, but we have no intention of paying fines for personnel or services,” the exchange revealed.

Earlier last week, Nigeria blocked its citizens from accessing exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and OctaFx. These led to Binance’s P2P service going offline and NGN pairs being removed from the exchange. Nigeria is high on the list of countries in the world with the most p2p transactions.

Onanuga Responds

When asked about his thoughts on the statement from Binance, the special adviser noted that the media misinterpreted his statement. Onanuga stated that he never said that Binance was aware of the fine because the Nigerian regulators had not decided on the next line of action.

“I said our government may impose heavy fines on Binance for what happened; I never said Binance had been informed about the fines or that it would definitely be $10 billion. I only said the amount may be imposed, which is because nothing has been finalized yet,” Onanuga said.

The Nigerian government accused Binance of harboring individuals who fixed dollar prices on its website to manipulate its economy. Notably, the clamp down on Binance had boosted the naira to the dollar exchange rate as it moved from  ₦1,880/$1 to  ₦ 1,591/$1

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