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In Nigeria, home of the largest digital asset economy in Africa, a feud has been developing between the government and Binance—a feud that has culminated with one of the company’s executives escaping house arrest and fleeing the country.

Boasting the sixth-largest population in the entire world, the Federal Republic of Nigeria holds a large economic influence over the African continent and a respectable sway in the greater world market. Although the possible future for Nigeria’s economic development has been a topic of great interest for global financial institutions, a particular point of interest is the nation’s apparent affinity for Bitcoin; for example, the country is at the top of nations by relevant Google searches such as “invest in crypto,” etc. Additionally, due to some of the classic reasons like rampant inflation and declining local currency, Nigeria also contains the largest trading volumes in all of Africa. For these reasons, the possible bitcoinization of Nigeria would be a significant boon to Bitcoiners worldwide, and the country may one day be a real hub for the industry.

Therefore, Bitcoiners today should certainly be interested in the developing feud concentrated between Binance and the Nigerian government, with special attention to the possibility of a broader crackdown on the industry. The quarrel began in earnest in February 2024, when an alleged “glitch” in Binance’s peer-to-peer (P2P) transaction platform led to deflated prices for users, as government officials formally accused the company of “blatantly setting a special exchange rate for Nigeria” and “trying to manipulate our currency to Ground Zero”. The Central Bank (CBN) considered the widespread usage of P2P Bitcoin transactions as a possible contributor to the naira’s falling performance, and sought to take action against Binance. Considering that inflation in Nigeria is climbing at the fastest rate in decades, this problem seemed especially concerning to authorities.


To this end, a somewhat confusing series of events unfolded: reports circulated in February that the government was blocking services from major exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken. Coinbase, for its part, claimed that they had experienced no such troubles with the Nigerian government at the time. The government went on to clarify its position when the CBN singled out Binance, announcing that some $26 billion in “untraceable” funds had apparently passed through the company’s…

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