Binance explains why it restricted 281 Nigerian crypto trading accounts

Binance has explained why it placed restrictions on the crypto trading accounts of some Nigerians over the last few days.

In a letter to the Nigerian crypto community, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stated that the move was in compliance with international anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

“Some 281 Nigerian accounts have been affected by these personal account restrictions with approximately 38% of these cases restricted at the request of international law enforcement,” CZ stated in the letter.


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According to CZ, Binance is doing its best to speedily resolve the situation. The exchange’s CEO also stated that 79 cases had been resolved and all “non-law enforcement-related cases” will be settled in a fortnight.

Before CZ’s letter, Binance had come in for significant criticism among many in the Nigerian crypto space. The hashtag #BinanceStopScamming was a trending topic on the “Nigerian Twitter” space over the last few days amid a chorus of groans from users reportedly locked out of their accounts without due explanation.

Nigeria’s central bank banned commercial lenders from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges in the country in February 2021. The central bank has also taken action against companies and individuals found to be involved in crypto trading activities by freezing their accounts.

About Author

Osato is a news reporter at The Block as part of the crypto ecosystems team that focuses on DAO governance, staking, blockchain layers, and DeFi. He was previously a news reporter at Cointelegraph. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, he enjoys crosswords, poker, and attempting to beat his Scrabble high score. Follow him on Twitter at @OsatoNomayo.