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Nigerian blockchain advocacy group warns of repercussions from Binance dispute

nigerian-blockchain-advocacy-group-warns-of-repercussions-from-binance-dispute
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Nigerian blockchain advocacy group warns of repercussions from Binance dispute

Binance’s current legal turmoil with the Nigerian government has drawn the attention of the nation’s blockchain advocacy group, which has called for a balanced resolution.

The Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee of Nigeria (BICCoN) represents the nation’s blockchain sector. The group has raised concerns about the nation’s international reputation.

In their statement, BICCoN urged for a balanced approach while keeping in mind the nation’s duty to protect national interests, such as economic stability and regulatory adherence. The group vouched for a resolution that promotes trust and confidence in the process.

As such, it advocated for an approach that encourages collaboration with global partners and stakeholders.

The group warned that continued delays in resolving the matter could harm the nation’s blockchain industry.

The detention of Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan has begun to have “ripple effects” that threaten Nigeria’s ability to maintain and consolidate crucial collaborations with international partners.

Further, the recent events have also led to a “chilling effect on investment.” The group has flagged a noticeable decline in foreign investments, which is deemed detrimental to the country’s economic growth.

Moreover, BICCoN also stressed that the situation “could lead to a withdrawal of support” from international partners. This would leave the nation’s local regulators and law enforcement without the necessary tools and expertise to effectively regulate the industry.

“Nigerian regulators stand to gain immensely from continued access to advanced tools and resources provided by international blockchain entities,” the statement said.

As such, the group is concerned that it would hamper the ability of Nigerian authorities to combat financial crimes and ensure a secure environment for all stakeholders.

The statement also acknowledged Gambaryan’s expertise, claiming that his expertise would have served as an “invaluable asset” to aid Nigerian regulators in their enforcement efforts.

“Instead, his detention undermines the potential for such collaborative efforts,” BICCoN added.

BICCoN recommends “constructive dialogue” with Binance and other relevant stakeholders to work towards a mutually beneficial solution. On top of this, the group also stressed that all processes should be “transparent, fair, and adhere to international best practices.”

Ultimately, BICCoN concluded that the balanced approach could help resolve the recent issues fairly while also maintaining relations that would help Nigeria create a “supportive environment” for the nation’s blockchain sector. 

Gambaryan and Binance regional manager Nadeem Anjarwalla were detained on Feb. 26. The duo had traveled to Nigeria to help Binance’s defense against tax evasion and money laundering charges.

Gambaryan was detained after two meetings with Nigerian authorities. Allegedly, the meetings started as professional but had turned hostile.

His continued detention has stirred political waters, with U.S. lawmakers and officials urging the U.S. president’s intervention.

Most recently, Arkansas Republican Rep. French Hill advocated for the release of Gambaryan during a FOX Business interview.  Hill claimed the Binance executive was caught in a “Nigerian political fight.”

However, Nigerian regulators haven’t been too responsive despite the escalating situation. On Jun. 6, Nigerian Minister of Information Mohammed Idris defended Gambarayan’s trial despite several claims that he was being held in harsh conditions while suffering from malaria.