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Philippines to Block Binance Access Over Unlicensed Operations

The Philippines’ financial regulatory body has announced plans to restrict access to Binance, the leading global cryptocurrency exchange, due to concerns regarding its unauthorized operations within the nation.

This action is in response to the platform’s provision of investment services, such as leveraged trading and crypto savings accounts, without the necessary licenses, infringing on the Securities Regulation Code.

In collaboration with the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines aims to block Binance’s website and online trading services.

This decision was outlined in a document by the SEC dated March 25.

SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino emphasized the risk posed to the security of Filipino investors’ funds if access to these platforms remains unrestricted, stating, “The SEC has identified the aforementioned platform and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos.”

To mitigate immediate disruptions, the implementation of this ban will be phased over three months, allowing investors sufficient time to close their positions with Binance.

Additionally, the SEC has approached Google and Meta to prevent Binance-related advertisements from reaching Filipino audiences.

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This regulatory action against Binance in the Philippines adds to the exchange’s growing list of global regulatory challenges.

Notably, in December 2023, Binance and its former CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, were fined $2.7 billion and $150 million, respectively, by a U.S. court following a CFTC lawsuit.

This legal battle, initiated in March 2023, accused Binance of contravening U.S. law by operating an illegal derivatives exchange without authorization.

The repercussions for CZ have been significant, with his agreement in November to resign from his leadership role at Binance amid a broader settlement with various U.S. regulatory bodies, including the Department of Justice and the CFTC.

Moreover, CZ admitted guilt to numerous civil infractions and a criminal charge related to violations of Anti-Money Laundering statutes.

While he awaits sentencing for money laundering charges, currently scheduled for April 30, CZ remains on a $175 million release bond.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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