Binance has been accused of blocking accounts of Nigerian users.
NewsOnline understands that reports on social media are claiming that Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, is reportedly blocking the accounts of its African users, particularly Nigerians and those that are active in its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) exchange.
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Many Nigerians have taken to Twitter to alleged that the exchange blocked their accounts without any explanation given to them. After several interviews, Nairametrics discovered that there have been issues, going as far back as 2020.
What users are saying
In an interview with Nairametrics some users who have been experiencing issues with Binance lamented that their accounts were blocked for no reason and they were at the time yet to get a response from the exchange why that happened even after making requests.
One user, Adeosun Yemson Yemmy stated that he has been having issues with the platform as far back as 2020. He said, “Sometime in December 2020, I bought some coins from a guy on WhatsApp. 24 hours later, my account was frozen. I chatted support and I was told to provide proofs on how I got a certain amount of funds into my wallet. I provided the proofs and my wallet was released. However, in February 2021, the wallet was frozen again. And up till now, they haven’t released the wallet.”
When was asked the response Binance support team gave to him since he has been trying to retrieve his account, he said, “They kept saying that it’s not within their power to disclose to me what happened. They referred me to a police officer in Las Vegas.”
Adeosun explained that he contacted the police officer in Las Vegas and still was told that his wallet received stolen coins.
“I kept talking with the officer and the officer insisted on not disclosing to me what exactly happened. He kept saying that he’s doing some investigations. Not until few weeks ago that the officer said that I received some stolen coin into my wallet. I provided proof to the officer as earlier provided to Binance just to clarify that the coin was bought from a WhatsApp group, since I’m a random buyer who buys from people,” he said.
Many Nigerians, due to the ban on cryptocurrencies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have been forced to participate in the market through P2P exchanges, telegram groups and like Adeosun, WhatsApp groups, where buyers and sellers alike come together to exchange tokens for cash. These methods although an alternative is still relatively flawed as there is a high crime rate as it largely depends on trust.
Adeosun further stated, “I expected Binance to be able to defend me because the balance was bought on Binance P2P. But Binance has not said anything. The officer said if I want my money, I should come to the United States and prove that I’m not guilty of the allegations levelled against me. Since then, I’ve been in debt.”
The story of Adeosun is just one of many that have been flying around social media. Another user, Kelvin Chidubem, who is even a community member of the platform stated he has had issues with the platform twice.
He stated, “As a trader and a community member, I just had to lend my voice to the fatal blow Binance is dealing out to young Nigerians. I trade on Paxful and Binance as well as a P2P trader, fully verified on both platforms. Sometime last year, I sent BTC from my Paxful and blockchain wallets to my Binance for conversion to USDT which is more profitable to resell in the market.
“On arrival to my Binance wallet, I swapped both coins and then got a buyer who wanted to buy. I tried sending it out and found out I couldn’t. I texted the support and they had me record my transaction history from both wallets and then show my face on same video record and submit to them. I did and they replied that they were going to get back at me when they have investigated it.
“After two days, there was nothing from them, so I had to text back and they replied they would get back to me and can’t tell when this will be. Fortunately for me, I am a member of Binance Nigeria forum on telegram, so I spoke to one of the admins who work directly with Binance and it took them 3 extra days to release my account. They did same thing during the second time and I still resolved it same way. But for some others, they shut down their accounts completely.”
Kelvin shared the message Binance sent to one of its users who was having similar issues. It reads, “Your account has been suspended permanently after careful reviewing from our team, the decision is final and cannot be changed. The funds will be blocked along with the suspension. Repeatedly engaging the matter your account being suspended might lead your chat terminated. Thank you.”
What Binance is saying about the blocked accounts
We officially reached out to the exchange to comment however, the exchange referred us to their official comment on their Twitter page which states, “Dear Nigeria Binancians. It has been brought to our attention that some Binance users’ accounts have been restricted. Please be rest assured the Binance team is working on it. User security remains our top priority.”
In the tweet, the exchange attached a google form for those still experiencing issues with accessing their accounts. The tweet further read, “We will further investigate and provide solutions swiftly. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
Binance in 2021 and even till now, has been facing regulatory pressure from all over the world, including America, where there is a probe by the Department of Justice and IRS into potential illicit activities.