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Philippines Financial Regulator Cracks Down on Binance for Unauthorized Crypto Operations

Summary:
Even though Binance acts as an approved broker in some places overseas, it still has to meet many legal requirements to handle securities activities in the Philippines under the country’s Securities Regulation Code. The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has greatly increased its regulatory fight against the global crypto trading giant Binance. The SEC accused the crypto exchange of illegally operating in the country without licenses. In a recent notice, the Philippine SEC clearly stated that Binance does not have official permission to sell investments or securities to average investors across the country. Calling out the exchange is a part of the agency’s broader efforts to reveal unregistered crypto companies and coordinate blocking access to their platforms.

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Even though Binance acts as an approved broker in some places overseas, it still has to meet many legal requirements to handle securities activities in the Philippines under the country’s Securities Regulation Code.

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has greatly increased its regulatory fight against the global crypto trading giant Binance. The SEC accused the crypto exchange of illegally operating in the country without licenses.

In a recent notice, the Philippine SEC clearly stated that Binance does not have official permission to sell investments or securities to average investors across the country. Calling out the exchange is a part of the agency’s broader efforts to reveal unregistered crypto companies and coordinate blocking access to their platforms.

Even though Binance acts as an approved broker in some places overseas, it still has to meet many legal requirements to handle securities activities in the Philippines under the country’s Securities Regulation Code. This includes officially registering all investment products made available to Filipinos, starting a Philippines-based company, getting a secondary permit for public offerings, and more—none of which the crypto exchange has done according to the SEC’s notice.

In targeting the issue, the regulator also highlighted the company’s use of aggressive social media promotions meant to attract lots of customers in the Philippines. Ads promise Filipinos the ability to trade crypto assets with leverage, speculate on derivatives like futures and options deals, earn interest through crypto savings accounts, take part in staking services, and invest in initial coin offerings—all without proper registration.

Some Steps the Philippine Regulator Is Taking against Binance

In hopes of stopping Binance’s access, the SEC said it convinced both the National Telecommunication Commission and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to take coordinated actions to block the exchange’s website and servers.

Moreover, the Commission strongly warned that people promoting Binance’s illegal operations in the country face potential criminal charges, including huge fines of nearly $100,000 or over 20 years in jail. The agency pleaded with the public to be very careful before trusting money to unregistered platforms.

To enforce the crackdown on the exchange’s offerings, regulators outlined plans to fully prohibit access to the exchange within three months, while giving investors a window to close positions and withdraw holdings if wanted. Additionally, the SEC made urgent requests to leading platforms like Google, Facebook, and others to right away ban online advertisements sponsored by Binance targeting web users in the Philippines.

While the SEC removal of unlicensed crypto companies seems far-reaching, some Filipino retail investors have accepted Binance as a trusted marketplace for digital asset trading, praising its services on X.  It seems like the exchange has made some unsuccessful moves in order to get fully regulated in the country last year or the company has not met some basic requirements required by the necessary commissions

However, this does not change the fact that Binance is presently involved in a lot of legal issues that could affect the future of the crypto company. These include the company’s guilty pleas in the US to anti-money laundering violations, along with the recent exit of its founder, Changpeng Zhao, from the CEO position. For now, the regulatory grip continues to tighten on the world’s largest crypto trading center, Binance, with the Philippines representing the latest country to make accusations of illegal financial activities.

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