Three weeks after Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) met blockchain industry players and asked that they stop peer-to-peer trading, the global crypto exchange Kucoin has suspended all naira-based peer-to-peer trading.

“As part of ongoing efforts to enhance our services, Kucoin will temporarily suspend all p2p Naira services and Fast Buy service via Naira card,” the company said in a notification to users.

While the global crypto exchange Binance faces federal government charges, Kucoin has largely remained under the radar and it will hope to maintain the status quo with its decision to halt p2p trading.

For weeks, the office of Nigeria’s Security Adviser has increased scrutiny of p2p crypto trading, mandating fintechs and banks to close bank accounts linked to trading and report said accounts to the authorities. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has also blocked thousands of accounts for trading crypto.

On May 7, Emomotimi Agama, the SEC DG blamed the slide of the naira on cryptocurrency traders. “What is very critical and which has brought about this meeting is the concerns regarding crypto P2P traders and their effect on the exchange rate,” he said at that event.

While the naira became the best-performing currency in April, it has since reversed all those gains. On May 14, the USD exchanged for ₦1520, a stunning drop and a reminder of the volatility that led to a ban on Binance in February 2024.

This week, several currency traders in major cities told TechCabal that the EFCC had resumed arrests of street traders, in enforcement of the February ban.

Despite these extreme measures, there’s no respite in sight for the naira and it remains to be seen if authorities will follow through with a plan to ban p2p trading and what form that ban may take.



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