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Philippine SEC Gives Binance and Other Platforms Operating Without License 3 Months Before Ban

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe Stock

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has clarified the issues raised over the former advisory to the effect that any unregistered platform will be banned after three months. 

Speaking at a Dec 13 panel on educating consumers on unregistered exchanges, the head of the financial regulator, Kelvin Lee disclosed that all unregistered institutions issued an advisory have three months before a ban swings into effect. 

It is supposed to be three months from our issuance date. Three months from November 29. Depending on how feedback is, we can extend that, but currently, we should feel lucky with the three months. I’ll be blunt, the original recommendation on my desk was one month.” 

Asked to clarify the state of Binance in the country after it said it operates without a license last month, the Commission’s boss noted that three months given will benefit all parties involved without rattling local investors while giving all platforms time to seek a regulatory nod. 

According to him, the original recommendation on his desk was one month while several others wanted one week as a transition phase but with the Christmas season coming, it would be better not to make things hard for Filipino investors.

Regulators adopt the “wait and see” approach

In a bid to secure investors in the country, the financial regulator has toed the path of global counterparts in seeking fully compliant measures for all virtual asset service providers in the nation to prevent losses that may run into millions

The body also issued warnings to other firms like OctaFx and MiTtrade adding that it still has a long list of others but wants to adopt the wait-and-see approach to see when they register. 

A major argument by most firms is that they don’t operate in the country but Commissioner Lee debunks the claims asserting that these firms target Filipino investors online which is the same logic deployed by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The Commissioner spoke on calls to spare Binance’s because it was relatively cheaper than others in the country. Per the release, he said the exchange is cheaper because it hasn’t registered as full compliance comes with certain obligations like financial costs.

More regulations incoming 

He added that it is the responsibility of the Commission to remind citizens not to utilize unregistered platforms but to use virtual asset platforms that have obtained the regulatory nod in case something goes wrong. 

Finally, the authorities advised users to invest in the 17 registered platforms in the country adding that IG would release new regulations in the future concerning digital assets. 

Rather than a public consultation as seen in other jurisdictions, it will adopt a small group of experts to deliberate on the proposed rules and give feedback to the authorities.