Binance is again in the spotlight after it caught the attention of regulators – this time, from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission – who cautioned against investing with the global exchange.
The warning was included in a letter sent to the SEC by Infrawatch PH, a public policy research organization aiming to have the crypto exchange blacklisted as an “unregistered” entity.
Infrawatch PH is requesting the Philippine watchdog to carry out a prompt inquiry and prohibition of Binance’s operations in the Philippines.
The think tank also previously requested that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) investigate the crypto exchange’s operations.
Binance Under Philippines SEC’s Radar
In a 12-page letter sent to the SEC by the convener of Infrawatch PH, Terry I. Ridon, the organization outlined particular measures it wants the agency to take against the exchange.
The letter states that:
“Consequently, it does not possess the proper authority and or license to solicit investments as only registered entities can apply for and be issued the necessary licenses to solicit investments.”
A recent public warning given by former Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, according to Infrawatch, further supports Ridon’s claim.
Image: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas
No Records With Central Bank Or SEC
The advisory indicated explicitly that the digital currency exchange does not have any records with the SEC or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank.
BSP had previously issued “Guidelines for Virtual Currency Exchanges” in accordance with Circular No. 944 of 2017, which reaffirmed that venture capitalists do not have “legal currency status” and are not issued nor guaranteed by any government.
For his part, SEC director Oliver O. Leonardo also backed the Infrawatch convener’s claim. In a letter, Leonardo said that based on their initial evaluation, “Binance is not a registered corporation or partnership.”
The company has been marketing and promoting financial products and instruments in the country despite its lack of authorization, absence of a local office, and operation through third parties, he said.
Infrawatch disclosed that Binance has more than 1.4 million users and has indicated proposals to expand its footprint in the bustling Southeast Asian nation.
Crypto Exchange In Hot Water
Meanwhile, Binance’s U.S. affiliate said that it will cease trading Flexa’s AMP token due to the U.S. SEC’s classification of the asset as a security.
Following a news from last week that the SEC is investigating Coinbase for allegedly allowing U.S. residents to trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities, the SEC has taken action.
Binance has been penalized in the Netherlands for operating without appropriate documentation, the Dutch central bank revealed two weeks ago.
In April, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which regulates crypto service provider registrations, fined Binance S$3.4 million.
A class action lawsuit has been launched against the U.S. arm of the exchange, Binance.US, for its marketing and sales of the defunct Terra LUNA and UST coins.
Crypto total market cap at $1.06 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Featured image from Binance, chart from TradingView.com