SEC in Philippines: Binance is Operating Without a License – Here’s the Latest

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Iryna Budanova/Adobe

The Securities and Exchange Commission in the Philippines has warned users that cryptocurrency exchange, Binance is operating without the required license.

In a Nov 28 press release, the regulator stated that the exchange lacks authorization to sell securities to the public in the Philippines adding that users should exercise caution.

Based on the Commission’s database, the operator of the platform BINANCE is NOT REGISTERED as a corporation in the Philippines and OPERATES WITHOUT THE NECESSARY LICENSE AND/OR AUTHORITY to sell or offer any form of securities as defined under Section 3.1 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), to engage in the business of buying or selling securities” 

The Commission noted that its primary investigations reveal that Binance has conducted several promotional campaigns on social media to attract Filipinos to invest and trade securities or other assets on the platform. 

Facilitators risk fines and jail time 

According to the regulators, the website of the exchange stated that it facilitates trades among a wide range of products including spot leveraged trading, options, and derivatives and while it may be registered in other jurisdictions, the exchange lacks such standing in the country.

As the global exchange cannot establish and operate by offering services to local markets, the SEC urged to exercise full caution before making any exposure to “unregistered online investment platforms.”

The regulatory body warned individuals and entities who aid the company in its operations in the country would be liable to twenty-one years in prison, five million pesos, or both.

“…those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents, representatives, promoters, recruiters, influencers, endorsers, and enablers of the BINANCE platform in selling or convincing people to invest in this platform within the Philippines even through online means may be held criminally liable under Section 28 of the SRC and be penalized with a maximum fine of Five Million Pesos (P 5,000,000.00) or imprisonment of Twenty One (21) years or both.” 

Binance is still in the regulatory web

Per the statement, investment products can only be sold in the country if the securities offered to the public have been registered with the SEC through a written filed application with all relevant information attached.

Also, the issuer must be a licensed dealer registered in the Philippines and must possess a secondary license to trade securities.

In recent months, Binance has been at the center of several regulatory investigations as officials allege a lack of proper regulations. The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a lawsuit against the company for offering products targeted at U.S. consumers without registration.

This development comes amid the Binance-DOJ investigation in the U.S. that has seen CEO Changpeng Zhao now out pleading guilty as part of a wider $4.3 billion settlement that rocked the industry last week.