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Nigeria Blocks Access To Coinbase, Binance and Kraken As Naira Falls To Record Lows

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Nigeria has taken drastic measures in to attempt to stabilize its plummeting national currency, the naira, by blocking access to major cryptocurrency exchanges, reported the Financial Times. This move comes as the Nigerian government attempts to crack down on currency speculation amid record lows for the naira.

JUST IN: 🇳🇬 Nigeria blocks access to Coinbase, Binance and Kraken as their national currency falls to record lows, Financial Times reports.

— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) February 22, 2024

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issued orders to telecoms companies late on Wednesday to restrict consumer access to websites of major cryptocurrency platforms like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken. As a result, consumers experienced only intermittent access to these sites on Thursday.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser Information and Strategy to the President of Nigeria, took to X to say a local report of the government blocking access to the exchanges was correct.

Premium Times is correct.

Forex Crisis: Nigerian govt blocks Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase, others https://t.co/cq6DoxqInj

— Bayo Onanuga (@aonanuga1956) February 22, 2024

Cryptocurrency exchanges have played a big role in establishing unofficial market prices for the naira, with platforms like Binance often serving as benchmarks for local foreign currency exchange rates. The government’s move to block access to these platforms is an effort to regain control over the currency valuation of the naira.

“Binance, facing regulatory showdown in many countries, and causing disruptions in the currency market, should not be allowed to dictate the value of the naira, not on its crypto exchange platform,” Onanuga further stated. “Crypto should be banned in our country or else this bleeding of our currency will continue unabated.”

Nigeria’s adoption of rash methods to defend its currency, including shutting down price-setting websites and declaring certain cryptocurrency entities illegal, highlights the challenges the country faces in managing its economic stability. Nigeria’s national currency has lost over 70% of its value since their central bank lifted its dollar peg in June.

​ An adviser to the President of Nigeria stated that crypto should be banned within the country. 

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