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Saturday, April 20, 2024

SEC advises public against using Binance

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday warned the public against using online cryptocurrency exchange Binance, as it moves to have the platform blocked in the Philippines to protect Filipinos from unregistered investment products.

It said in an advisory posted on its website Binance was not authorized to sell or offer securities to the public in the Philippines, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

Binance is a global company that operates the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies.

The SEC said it found that Binance had been actively employing promotional campaigns on social media to attract Filipinos to engage in investment and trading activities using its platforms. An app version is also downloadable on Google Playstore and the Apple App Store.

“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 [SRC] to engage in the business of buying or selling securities or as a broker or dealer as provided under Section 28 of the SRC, or to create or operate an exchange for the buying and selling of securities as provided under Section 32 of the SRC,” the advisory read.

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The SEC said it would request assistance from the National Telecommunication Commission and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to block access to Binance in the Philippines.

This will prohibit users from accessing the website and its applications while inside the country.

It also requested Google and Meta, the operator of Facebook, to prohibit online advertisements from Binance appearing to users in the Philippines.

The SRC said entities seeking to engage in the business of buying or selling securities or as a broker dealer, or seeking to create or operate an exchange for the buying and selling of securities, should secure a secondary license with the SEC.

It said those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents, representatives, promoters, recruiters, influencers, endorsers and enablers of Binance in selling or convincing people to invest in its platform within the Philippines, even through online means, may be held criminally liable under Section 28 of the SRC and be penalized up to P5 million or suffer imprisonment of up to 21 years, or both.

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