The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated steps to ban access to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, following significant legal developments involving its former chief executive. This move, according to a recent Reuters report, comes as a response to Binance’s non-compliance with local corporate and financial regulations.
The SEC’s decision was influenced by the revelation that Binance was operating in the Philippines without being a registered corporation. Moreover, the exchange lacked the necessary license and authority to sell or offer securities in the country. This lack of compliance has prompted the SEC to take stringent measures to protect Filipino investors and maintain the integrity of the local financial market.
In its statement, the SEC announced it would implement the Binance ban in the Philippines within three months from issuing its advisory on Nov. 28. This grace period aims to provide Filipino users with ample time to withdraw their investments from the crypto exchange, thus minimizing potential financial disruptions.
The SEC has also reached out to tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google and Facebook’s parent company, Meta, requesting them to prohibit online advertisements promoting Binance in the Philippines. This move is part of a broader effort to curb the influence and reach of the crypto exchange in the country. Additionally, the SEC warned that individuals selling through or persuading others to invest in Binance might face criminal charges.
Changpeng Zhao’s legal troubles
The regulatory scrutiny on Binance has been intensified by the recent legal issues surrounding its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao. Zhao stepped down from his position last week after pleading guilty to charges related to the failure of maintaining an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. This development has raised concerns about the exchange’s adherence to global financial regulations and its impact on investors worldwide.
The Philippines’ move to block Binance signals a growing trend of regulatory bodies worldwide taking a more assertive stance on cryptocurrency exchanges. This action reflects the increasing need for these platforms to adhere to local and international financial regulations to protect investors and prevent illicit activities.