Home Regulation Nigerians turn to VPN as government blocks access to Binance, Coinbase, others

Nigerians turn to VPN as government blocks access to Binance, Coinbase, others

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Nigerians turn to VPN as government blocks access to Binance, Coinbase, others

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Binance has acknowledged reports of Nigerian users encountering difficulties accessing its official website following the government’s directive to block prominent crypto platforms’ sites.

In a Feb. 22 email sent to its users and obtained by CryptoSlate, Binance clarified that the restriction only affects attempts to reach its official Binance.com site, leaving its app users unaffected by the measure.

Binance has yet to respond to CryptoSlate’s request for additional commentary as of press time.

Meanwhile, CryptoSlate can confirm that notable crypto firms’ websites, such as Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, were inaccessible as of press time. However, platforms like KuCoin, Gemini Exchange, the peer-to-peer platform noOnes, and Justin Sun’s HTX remained reachable.

Why did Nigeria block crypto sites?

This development stemmed from concerns that Nigerian forex traders were utilizing Binance’s peer-to-peer platform for currency speculation activities.

Bayo Onanuga, a special adviser to Nigeria’s Presidency, accused Binance of assuming roles belonging to Nigeria’s Central Bank and advocated for a complete ban on the emerging crypto sector in the African nation.

Binance, however, refutes these claims, asserting that it is not a price discovery platform and that market conditions dictate prices on its platform. The exchange further emphasized being powerless over the multifaceted factors influencing foreign exchange rates.

“We continue to actively engage with regulators, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to foster an open transparent dialogue about managing the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency and financial markets,” it added.

Nigerians resort to VPNs

Nigeria’s social media space is littered with several crypto stakeholders advising their community on using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in the face of this ban.

Mikael Bernard, a crypto and financial market analyst, warned his followers against using US servers to access their accounts, which could result in a ban.

“If you’re using a VPN, don’t use US servers. You’d get banned. Use other countries. For crypto newbies only,” Bernard wrote.

Binance is currently embroiled in regulatory issues in the US. The firm recently agreed to a record $4.3 billion fine, and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, is in the US awaiting sentencing.

Despite these challenges, Binance’s data reflect robust activity for its USDT/NGN trading pair, with nearly 5 billion Naira in trades, equivalent to $3 million USDT, within the last 24 hours.

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