Binance: Regulating cryptocurrencies falls outside CBN duties, says Cardoso

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Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it is not in the purview of the apex bank to regulate or prosecute actors in the cryptocurrency sector.

 

Cardoso clarified this at a news conference on Tuesday after the monetary policy committee’s (MPC) 294th meeting in Abuja.

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On February 29, Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to the president on information and strategy,

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accused cryptocurrency trading platforms of manipulating the value of the naira in the foreign exchange market.

READ ALSO: I’ll dedicate my birthday to nation building, no celebrations – Tinubu

The federal government has since launched a clampdown on Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange.

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According to Cardoso, the regulation of cryptocurrency platforms is the duty of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria, and the national adviser’s office and not that of the CBN.

 

“A month ago, we actually did have collaboration with law enforcement agencies, EFCC, the SEC and other regulatory bodies as well. And I think what came out of that, quite frankly, is work in progress, but also very positive,” he said.

 

“We’ve been sharing information together. However, in this particular case the responsibility for regulating cryptocurrency is not our role.

“It is not ours. It is strictly that of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). That is not our responsibility.

Of course, the issue of people being held in custody, again strictly speaking is the Office of the National Security Adviser.

That is not within the purview of the central bank. Unfortunately, there is nothing to report to you or tell you. We just want to clarify that is really the relationship the central bank has on this matter.”

CLAMPDOWN ON BINANCE

On February 28, two Binance top executives — Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan and Binance’s regional manager for Africa; and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old US citizen and Binance’s head of financial crime compliance — were detained by the Nigerian authorities for weeks.

 

Subsequently, a federal high court in Abuja ordered Binance Holdings Limited to provide the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the comprehensive data or information of all persons from Nigeria trading on its platform.

 

On March 25, the office of the national security adviser (ONSA) confirmed Nadeem Anjarwalla had escaped its custody.

 

Anjarwalla was said to have escaped after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast.

 

He is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle Eastern airline — but how he got on an international flight despite his British passport, was unknown.

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