Philippine SEC Issues Stark Warning to Binance

In a bold move echoing concerns over unauthorized securities offerings and promotional activities targeting Filipino investors, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a stern warning directed at Binance, a prominent online cryptocurrency exchange. The statement, released on November 28, 2023, emphasized that Binance is not authorized to sell or offer securities to the public within the Philippines.

The SEC’s advisory highlighted several crucial points regarding Binance’s activities within the country. It underscored the exchange’s alleged engagement in promotional campaigns across various social media platforms, enticing Filipino citizens to participate in investment and trading activities through its platform. Despite its overseas registration of operators as brokers/dealers, the SEC stated that Binance does not hold the required registration as a corporation in the Philippines, operating without the necessary license or authority to offer securities.

The Securities Regulation Code, a cornerstone of the Philippine financial regulatory framework, sets stringent criteria for the sale or offering of securities to the public. The SEC emphasized three key prerequisites for compliance, including registration of securities with detailed information, issuance by a registered corporation or dealer in the Philippines, and possession of a secondary license to sell or offer securities.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the SEC cautioned the public against investing in unregistered online platforms like Binance, reiterating an earlier advisory. Moreover, the commission explicitly warned individuals engaged in sales, brokerage, promotion, or endorsement of Binance within the Philippines through any means, including online platforms, of potential criminal liabilities under Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code. These offenses could result in substantial fines or imprisonment, as prescribed by Section 73 of the Code.

The advisory, issued from Makati City on November 28, 2023, serves as a clear directive to exercise caution when dealing with unregistered online investment platforms, especially those actively promoting or endorsing Binance within the Philippines. It reiterates the SEC’s commitment to safeguarding Filipino investors from potential risks associated with unauthorized securities offerings.

As this news reverberates through financial circles, the spotlight intensifies on Binance’s operations in various jurisdictions, signaling a critical juncture for regulatory compliance within the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape.

The SEC’s unequivocal stance underscores the imperative for compliance and adherence to regulatory frameworks, serving as a cautionary tale for both cryptocurrency platforms and individuals engaging in their promotion and endorsement within the Philippines.

The implications of this regulatory warning extend beyond Binance, emphasizing the broader necessity for vigilance and adherence to regulatory protocols in the cryptocurrency sphere.

The ball now lies in Binance’s court as it navigates this regulatory admonition and charts a course forward amidst increased scrutiny and regulatory demands within the Philippines.

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