The Philippines SEC Orders Google and Apple to Remove Binance from App Stores

The Philippines SEC Orders Google and Apple to Remove Binance from App Stores

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines has taken a firm stance against cryptocurrency exchange Binance. The regulatory body has instructed tech giants Google and Apple to remove Binance from their respective app stores. SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino highlighted the potential risks posed to Filipino investors by allowing continued access to Binance sites and apps. The SEC accuses Binance of offering unregistered securities and functioning as an unregistered broker, thus contravening the country’s securities regulations.

The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission has previously intervened to block access to Binance websites in the country. The SEC had issued warnings to the public regarding the use of Binance as early as November of the previous year. Despite lacking the necessary regulatory approvals, Binance has actively promoted its services on social media platforms to attract Filipino investors. The SEC has urged investors with holdings in Binance to close their positions promptly or transfer their assets to licensed crypto wallets or exchanges within the Philippines.

The recent directive from the Philippines SEC adds to the mounting challenges faced by Binance. Following a $4.3 billion fine for alleged money laundering violations, the company underwent a change in leadership, appointing Richard Teng as the new CEO in November 2023. Former CEO Changpeng Zhao is facing charges for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and has agreed to step down pending a sentencing scheduled for April 30. Binance is also embroiled in legal disputes with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over allegations of mishandling customer assets and operating an unregistered exchange in the United States.

The regulatory crackdown on Binance by the Philippines SEC underscores the growing scrutiny faced by cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. With an increasing focus on investor protection and compliance with securities laws, exchanges like Binance must navigate a complex regulatory landscape to ensure long-term sustainability. As the digital asset industry continues to evolve, regulatory oversight and enforcement will play a critical role in shaping the future of cryptocurrencies.

Global Finance

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