Nigerians and users from other African countries have in recent times severally recounted their negative experience while trading with Binance. Reports suggests that they were denied access to their wallets (accounts) for no discernible reason, citing Binance irregularities. According to several, they discovered large anomalies in their wallets, which led them to lose a sizable percentage of their investments.
According to its founder and CEO, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume, has blocked 281 personal accounts in Nigeria in order to protect the platform’s security and stop fraud in January this year. Changpeng Zhao had noted that the international law enforcement requested restrictions on around 38% of the accounts.
Cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated in Africa and several governments have advise their citizens against dealing in the digital currencies, which are a lucrative ground for scams in the continent. Despite this, digital currencies are still popular and growing at an increasing rate in several African countries.
However, it is now looking like it is not African governments that Binance’s African users need to worry about, it is the company. Several users of the Binance global exchange have complained on social media that the exchange has been deleting accounts for weeks and months without providing any feedback or explanation.
Binance’s CEO and Asia’s richest man, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), had in January written a letter, addressing its Nigerian users titled, “Our commitment to User Protection.”
“User security remains our top priority. We love and are devoted to our Nigerian community, but we must ensure that our users are safe. As such, protection mechanisms such as KYC, anti-money laundering measures, collaboration with law enforcement, and account restrictions are in place….”
Multiple accusations are now pouring again, #BinanceStopScamming might trend again.
What Users Are Saying about Binance Irregularities
With more than 25,000 tweets in January, Twitter exploded with tweets about Binance’s inadequacies.
ICYMI: Binance Irregularities was among the top 5 trending tweets on Thursday 27th January with more than 10,000 tweets with the hashtag #BinanceStopScamming.
Numerous users particularly those from Nigeria and other African countries, claimed that they had been denied access to their wallets (accounts) for no apparent reason. Some said that, despite the current decline in cryptocurrency values, they had seen several abnormalities on their wallet that had caused them to lose a significant portion of their investment.
Larry Frank, today claimed that after receiving fund, he tried to place the trade and found out that his account was disabled from trading on spot. He said:
“Around 4PM yesterday, I sent about $4k $USDT to my binance wallet to place a trade. After receiving the fund, I tried to place the trade and found out that my account was disabled from trading on spot.
“I couldn’t perform any function and I was asked to contact support which I did, and I have been placed on a queue since then. This is about 15 hours since I contacted @binance and I’m yet to get a reply.”
Frank continued that these irregularities have continued in spite of regular complains from users.
“Binance should stop scamming Nigerians, this is too much, a lot of people have been complaining but these guys keep doing this. I’ll appreciate if you guys can help me retweet till the right authority sees this. This is bad for business and many Nigerians are leaving @binance for other platforms because of this.
Around 4PM yesterday, I sent about $4k $USDT to my binance wallet to place a trade.
After receiving the fund, I tried to place the trade and found out that my account was disabled from trading on spot.@cz_binance @binance #BinanceStopScamming #BinanceStopScammingNigerians
— LARRY FRANK (@LarryFranky) August 3, 2022
Another user, Michael Ederson commented: “This is not good for people making a living from trading pls. You people should stop the maltreatment on Nigerians pls.”
Is not good for people making a living from trading pls. You people should stop the maltreatment on Nigerians pls.
— michael ederson (@andybestmikel) August 3, 2022
The Ouut’s Take
Binance has had regulatory difficulties over the last two to four years, forcing the business to relocate its headquarters from a number of countries as central banks began to crack down on cryptocurrencies.
Many Nigerians are now forced to participate in the market through P2P exchanges and chat groups where buyers and sellers gather to exchange tokens for cash due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) prohibition on cryptocurrencies.
With so much irregularities, Binance’s user base may decline, giving its rivals the kind of leverage they desire.
A correspondent from the Ouut reached out to Larry Frank who confirmed that Binance had responded to him. Although yet to fix the issue, the company informed him that his account was being investigated and will be sorted out in time.