Binance operations in Nigeria have been halted by the regulator.

Binance, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, has been facing several setbacks recently. On June 9th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria declared Binance illegal and directed Binance Nigeria Limited to stop soliciting Nigerian investors. This news came just days after Binance was sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for multiple charges, including unregistered offers and sales of securities and failure to register as an exchange or broker. Binance denied the accusations and claimed to have provided all necessary information to regulators.

Binance is a well-known crypto exchange in Nigeria, which is one of the leading crypto hubs in Africa. However, the Central Bank of Nigeria does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, and commercial banks are prohibited from engaging in crypto transactions since February 2021. The ban on Binance follows recent regulatory developments in the country’s crypto ecosystem, including the introduction of a 10% tax on digital asset gains and a manifesto by the newly elected Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu, proposing a revision of the SEC’s regulations on digital assets to make them more business-friendly.

According to a study by Chainalysis, the Middle East and North Africa region is leading the world in crypto adoption, with $566 billion in cryptocurrencies received between July 2021 and June 2022, a 48% increase from the previous year.

Cointelegraph reached out to Binance for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

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