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Binance and Nigerian law enforcement: Partnership to foster responsible growth

For Binance, complying with the applicable laws and regulations in the countries where we operate is a top priority.

Binance and Nigerian law enforcement: Partnership to foster responsible growth

We proactively engage with regulators and law enforcement whenever we can contribute insight, intelligence, or expertise to help protect users, identify and prosecute criminals, or stop or prevent unlawful activity.

This is the definition of collaborative security in the crypto space that we have pledged to strengthen.

In light of recent news, we would like to share some facts and numbers that demonstrate that we take our commitment to promoting the responsible growth of crypto in Nigeria very seriously.

Even though Nigeria is not yet one of Binance’s top markets, we believe it holds extraordinary potential and we hope to continue to invest there. In recent years, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, has seen tremendous growth in crypto adoption and usage, as digital assets deliver value and improve the lives of many Nigerians. In Chainalysis’ 2023 ranking of global grassroots crypto adoption, Nigeria ranked second in the world, while several studies have estimated that more than one-third of the population uses digital assets.

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We are proud that Binance has become one of the most trusted platforms among crypto users in the country and we believe we are rewarded with that trust because of our efforts to give them the best trading experience while keeping their funds safe.

And, while we celebrate and welcome the growth we’ve seen, we also recognize the need to ensure that this growth is responsible and safe.

Information Requests and Training Sessions

Binance has a policy of cooperation and compliance with all lawful information requests and legal inquiries from government, local regulatory, and law enforcement authorities pertaining to investigations, prosecutions, and forfeiture actions.

Between June 2020 and February 2024, Binance’s financial crime compliance (FCC) teams responded to 626 information requests coming from Nigerian law enforcement agencies or related to investigations pertinent to Nigeria, with an average of 37.4 hours between submission and resolution. The information we provided helped a vast range of agencies, such as the Nigeria Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and INTERPOL Nigeria to tackle crimes ranging from scams and fraud to money laundering, blackmail, kidnapping, and extortion. In one high-profile action that took place in January 2022, we restricted 281 accounts belonging to Nigerian residents due to money laundering concerns and extensively collaborated with the authorities to protect users from illicit activity.

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In recent months, Binance’s team has visited Nigeria twice – in November and December 2023. Our Law Enforcement Training team delivered two full-day sessions to EFCC officials in Abuja and Lagos, with more than 30 investigators attending each of them. The training focused on practical aspects of cryptocurrency investigations: following the money on the blockchain using both public and commercial tracing tools. We provided training for Nigerian crime fighters on the role of exchanges in the digital-asset ecosystem and gave a comprehensive overview of Binance’s operations. We also introduced several case studies, including those featuring Nigerian suspects. Both sessions received overwhelmingly positive feedback from Nigerian investigators, who expressed strong interest in continuing this format of cooperation.

In August 2023, we also delivered a three-hour online workshop for 70 EFCC officials, focusing on the interpretation of Binance’s operational responses and the most effective ways of leveraging the assistance we can provide.

Furthermore, we have been cooperating with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, holding two meetings and discussing a memorandum of understanding focused on continuous training initiatives and operational cooperation, and held talks with the Nigeria Police Force about organizing a similar training session.

These trainings and sessions are unprecedented within the cryptocurrency industry. There is no other exchange that has committed to such close proactive cooperation with law enforcement and delivering relevant, practical education to their employees.

Promoting Inclusion and Prosperity

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At Binance, increasing financial inclusion is an important goal for us. The lack of access to traditional financial services and features can often leave behind underserved communities. This is where blockchain technology and digital assets can play a key role. We hope that we can support the continued growth of crypto so that it can support people, while we work collaboratively with law enforcement around the world to ensure the financial system is safe.

Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem is booming, having secured nearly half of all fintech investment across Africa between 2019 and 2023. It is important for the harmonious growth of this ecosystem that dynamic local startups operate alongside established global players like Binance. As the adoption of financial technology in the country accelerates, law enforcement and regulators should be able to rely on industry-leading partners with a proven track record of constructive collaboration with the authorities in Nigeria and all around the world.

We look forward to continuing these kinds of constructive engagements in the future as we work together jointly to ensure that all Nigerians prosper.

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