Kucoin suspends P2P Nigerian Naira (NGN) services

Despite the temporary suspension, Kucoin has reassured its Nigerian users that their assets remain safe on the platform. The exchange also expressed its commitment to swiftly resolving the matter and resuming P2P Nigerian Naira trading in a fully compliant manner.

In a move that follows the Nigerian government’s crackdown on crypto trading, global cryptocurrency exchange Kucoin has announced the temporary suspension of all peer-to-peer (P2P) Nigerian Naira (NGN) trading services. 

Fast buy options using Naira cards have also been disabled on the exchange platform. Announced via a press release on the company website, the temporary suspension will take effect on May 15, 2024, at 08:00 UTC. 

Kucoin cited its commitment to accelerating compliance processes as the primary driver behind this decision. The exchange assured users that ongoing orders would be processed normally, and all other trading services would remain operational during this period.

“At Kucoin, we are dedicated to providing the best possible trading experience,” the official statement read. “While this may require some adjustments, we assure you that this step is necessary to enhance your overall trading journey with us.”

Despite the temporary suspension of all P2P naira services, Kucoin has reassured its Nigerian users that their assets are safe on the platform. The exchange further expressed its commitment to swiftly resolving the matter and resuming P2P trading and fast buys with NGN in a fully compliant manner.

“We understand the impact of this decision and are grateful for your cooperation as we navigate this transition together,” the statement added. “We are excited about the future opportunities that lie ahead for our vibrant trading ecosystem.”

Crypto exchanges prioritize regulatory compliance in Nigeria

Kucoin’s move follows similar actions taken by other major crypto platforms, including Binance, and OKX which had previously disabled P2P trading services for the Nigerian Naira amid regulatory concerns.

It further underscores its push to fully comply with the Nigerian government. In April 2024, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao was sentenced to four months in prison for failing to comply with the United States Anti-money laundering laws (AML). 

Recall that the Nigerian government also levied allegations against Binance, alleging its involvement in fostering currency speculation leading to the devaluation of the naira and inflation

Subsequently, it extended an invitation to two Binance officials in February, apprehending them upon arrival, with one successfully escaping detention in March. 

Moreover, the government considered blocking the trading platforms of Binance and other crypto firms for Nigerians to prevent what it deemed as continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds. 

This was in response to an unprecedented weakening of the Nigerian currency, which fell to an all-time low of N1,800 against the US dollar in the parallel market in March 2024.

Nigerian Naira plunges over 25% against US Dollar 

Despite the increasing attack on P2P crypto trading with NGN, the currency plunged over 25% against the US dollar in May 2024. 

At the close of last week, the exchange rate of the naira against the US dollar was N1,466/$1, marking a two-month low as the dollar maintains its dominance over global currencies.

Moreover, it represented a significant 26.8% depreciation of the naira from its peak of N1,072/$1 on April 17. At the time, NGN was lauded as the top-performing currency by the central bank.

The latest closing rate of N1,466/$1 marked the naira’s lowest level since March 20, when it stood at N1,492/$1, completely nullifying all gains the currency made in April. 

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