The Philippine Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) cautioned the public not to invest in the crypto exchange Binance in their response to policy think tank Infrawatch PH’s attempts to woo the SEC to take action against the exchange.
In a letter sent by SEC Director Oliver Leonardo, the public was advised to refrain from investing in the exchange. Additionally, the SEC noted that Binance is not a registered corporation based on the initial assessment. Leonardo wrote:
“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.”
The letter highlighted that Binance is violating laws like the Securities Regulation Code and the Revised Corporation Code enforced by the SEC. Because of this, the SEC also mentioned that if there are any victims, it encourages them to come forward and file their complaints against the exchange.
Infrawatch PH Convenor Terry Ridon commented on the issue that this clarifies the government’s position on crypto platform operations. “This advisory provides immediate protection to Binance users who may have lost their money investing in an unlicensed platform,” he said.
In a statement, Binance told Cointelegraph that they were aware of the letter sent by the SEC to Infrawatch PH and that they align with the SEC’s mission to protect users. According to a spokesperson from the exchange, they are open to dialogue with the SEC. They explained that Binance believes in developing regulatory frameworks that evolve with innovation. Binance said that:
“We encourage the growth of positive innovations such as blockchain and look forward to having open dialogue with the SEC and any other industry participants that share our vision of financial inclusion and empowerment.”
In June, Binance expressed its intention to get the virtual asset service provider (VASP) license and e-money issuer license in the Philippines. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao expressed that the exchange is interested in expanding its operations within the country.
In the same month, Infrawatch PH started its efforts against Binance by reaching out to the Philippine central bank. Additionally, the lobbying group also made efforts to ask the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ban Binance over alleged illegal promotions. However, the DTI responded that they are unable to enforce any ruling on the exchange.