Philippines SEC Cautions Public to Not Invest in Binance
The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cautioned the public to not invest in global cryptocurrency exchange Binance in a response to a whistleblower report from public policy think tank Infrawatch.
On 25 July, Infrawatch beseeched the SEC to conduct an investigation on Binance, an unregistered entity in the Philippines, which had reportedly been offering its services in the country for several years already.
According to the think tank, Binance already has 3.4 million users in the Philippines despite not having an office there. The crypto exchange has worked with third-part companies that employs locals for its technical and customer support services.
Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) had recently made a series of appearances in several Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines with plans to pursue aggressive growth in the region.
He was reported to have expressed plans to obtain a crypto license in the country.
Among the products and services that Binance is said to be offering in the Philippines include spot trading, margin trading, futures contracts, Binance Options, crypto loans and p2p trading.
Snippet from Infrawatch’s letter,
“As you may be aware, Binance, an unregistered entity in the Philippines, has been offering its services in the country for several years already.
Their unregistered activity allows Filipinos to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and with wanton disregard of Philippine regulations, they perform the functions of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) through an unregulated platform.”
The SEC responded saying,
We acknowledge receipt of your email on the organization named Binance. We also thank you for enlightening us on the activities undertaken by the above-mentioned entity.
” Based on our initial assessment, Binance is not a registered corporation or partnership.
Consequently, Binance does not possess the necessary authority and or license to solicit investments as only registered corporations can apply for and be issued the necessary licenses to solicit investments. Considering these circumstances, we caution the public NOT TO INVEST with Binance.”
The commission also requested the public who may have fallen victim to Binance to come forward and file a notarised complaint at its department.