SEC Enlists Apple and Google to Ban Binance Apps in the Philippines

SEC Enlists Apple and Google to Ban Binance Apps in the Philippines

by April 24, 2024

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines has taken the unusual step of reaching out to tech giants Google and Apple to remove applications operated by the cryptocurrency platform Binance from their respective digital marketplaces, Google Play and the Apple App Store.

This move is part of a broader regulatory crackdown on the activities of the cryptocurrency giant within the nation. According to the SEC, the presence of Binance apps in both Apple and Google app stores that are accessible in the Philippines, poses substantial financial risks to Filipino investors due to the firm’s involvement in unauthorised investment solicitations and other unlicensed financial activities.

Emilio B. Aquino, the Chairperson of the SEC, underscored the necessity of this action in letters dated 19 April, 2024 sent to both technology firms. Aquino highlighted that Binance’s operations, which involve the offering of unregistered securities and functioning as an unregistered broker, contravene the Republic Act no. 8799, also known as The Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino

Emilio B. Aquino

The Chairperson stated,

“The public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos.”

The SEC’s strategy includes not only the removal of these applications but also a request to the National Telecommunications Commission to block Binance’s websites in the Philippines.

This measure aims to curtail the proliferation of Binance’s unauthorised investment solicitation activities across the country, according to the securities regulator.

Binance offers a broad array of financial instruments and investment products, including spot trading with leverage, futures contracts, option contracts, and cryptocurrency-related services such as savings accounts and staking services.

Despite being the world’s largest cryptocurrency site by volume, with daily transactions averaging US$65 billion and a user base of over 183 million, Binance lacks the requisite SEC licenses for soliciting investments or operating a securities exchange in the Philippines, as mandated by the SRC.

The SEC has issued a stern warning to the Filipino public against engaging with Binance and advised current investors to promptly close their positions and transfer their assets to regulated entities.



Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik