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Binance’s Nigeria Unit Ordered to Halt ‘Illegal’ Operations by Securities Watchdog

The order against Binance Nigeria Limited follows U.S. SEC allegations that the exchange had violated federal securities laws.

Crypto exchange Binance’s Nigerian unit was ordered to immediately halt operations in the country by the local Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a Friday circular.

“Binance Nigeria Limited is neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal,” the notice said.

Nigeria’s order follows a lawsuit by the U.S. securities watchdog last Monday against the largest global crypto exchange by market capitalization, alleging it failed to register as a broker or exchange, and that it sold offered unregistered securities the general public.

Although Nigeria’s SEC had previously said it viewed all crypto assets to be securities by default, this appears to be the first action taken by the regulator against a major exchange platform. In May, Bloomberg reported the country’s SEC was processing crypto firms’ applications for registration on a trial basis but would not officially start registering them until it has reached an agreement with the country’s central bank.

Banks in the country are prohibited from offering services to crypto platforms.

“The Commission shall provide updates on further regulatory actions with respect to the activities of Binance Nigeria Limited, and other similar platforms and shall work with other regulators in Nigeria to provide further guidance on this matter,” Friday’s order said.

Source: Coin Desk