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Philippines Are Left Without Withdrawal Options as SEC Blocks Binance

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Philippines Binance

Philippines crypto users are unable to withdraw their funds after the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission blocked Binance

In a recent interview, Paolo Ong, the officer in charge of the SEC’s PhiliFintech Innovation Office, said that the regulator is unable to endorse any methods for users to retrieve their funds after Binance’s ban by internet service providers (ISPs) in the Philippines.

He added that the SEC had previously issued a three-month warning to Binance users, granting them ample time to withdraw their funds from the exchange. 

The intention was for investors to transfer their funds to local exchanges or personal wallets within the specified timeframe. 

User Left With No Means of Reclaiming Funds on Binance

However, Ong acknowledged that some users may not have been able to comply with the withdrawal requirement, leaving them without any suggested means of reclaiming their money. 

“Unfortunately, we can’t endorse any method on how to take out their money now that the blocking order is out.”

On March 25, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) directed ISPs in the Philippines to block access to Binance immediately

The NTC gave local ISPs a five-day deadline to enforce the ban.

Despite the ban, it appears that the Binance website remains accessible in the country at the time of writing, indicating that the full implementation of the ban is still in progress.

Notably, Ong clarified that Binance had not submitted any applications to the SEC for formal registration in the Philippines. 

This contradicts earlier statements made by former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who had expressed the exchange’s intention to obtain licenses in the country during a press briefing in Manila on June 8, 2022. 

Ong emphasized that, as far as the SEC is concerned, there has been no official application from Binance to register in the Philippines.

The SEC has consistently warned the public about Binance’s operations, cautioning against investing in the exchange. 

In 2022, the regulator published a notice stating that Binance lacks the authority or license to solicit investments in the country. 

Despite these warnings, some users may find themselves in a challenging position due to the inability to withdraw their funds as Binance faces restrictions in the Philippines.

Binance Regulatory Troubles Continue

The Philippine SEC’s ban on Binance is not an isolated incident, as the exchange has faced increasing regulatory scrutiny worldwide.

Last year, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed charges against Binance for allegedly operating an illegal digital asset derivatives exchange and evading federal laws.

Similarly, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Binance Holdings LTD and ex-CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) for allegedly operating unregistered exchanges, broker exchanges, clearing houses, and the unregistered offer and sale of securities.

Binance and CZ pleaded guilty to a range of federal charges, including anti-money laundering violations and unlicensed money transmission, on November 21, 2023. 

CZ later resigned as the CEO of Binance, which was part of the agreement with the DOJ.