Once again, Binance is in the spotlight after it caught the attention of regulators – this time, from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission – who warned against investing in the global exchange.
The warning was included in a letter sent to the SEC from Infrawatch PH, a public policy research organization that aims to blacklist the crypto exchange as an “unregistered” entity.
Infrawatch PH is asking the Philippine watchdog to promptly investigate and ban Binance’s operations in the Philippines.
The think tank also previously requested that the Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI) investigate cryptocurrency exchanges.
Binance is under the radar of the Philippines SEC
In a 12-page letter sent by Infrawatch PH regulator Terry I. Redon to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the organization outlined specific actions it wants the agency to take against the exchange.
The message states:
“Thus, it does not have the appropriate authority and/or license to solicit investments as only registered entities can apply for and issue the necessary licenses to solicit investments.”
And, according to Infrawatch, the public warning given by former Philippine Finance Minister Carlos Dominguez, also supports Redon’s claim.
Image: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas
No records with the Central Bank or the SEC
The advisory explicitly stated that the crypto exchange does not have any records with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank.
The BSP previously issued “Guidelines for the Exchange of Virtual Currency” pursuant to Circular 944 of 2017, which reaffirmed that venture capitalists do not have “legal currency status” and are not issued or guaranteed by any government.
For his part, SEC Director Oliver O. Leonardo also supported the Infrawatch regulator’s claim. In a letter, Leonardo said that based on the initial assessment, “Binance is not a registered company or partnership.”
He explained that the company is marketing and promoting financial products and tools in the country, despite the lack of a license and the absence of a local office and its operation through third parties.
Infrawatch revealed that Binance has more than 1.4 million users and pointed to proposals to expand its presence in the bustling Southeast Asian nation.
Cryptocurrency exchange in hot water
Meanwhile, the US subsidiary of Binance said that it will stop trading Flexa’s AMP token due to the SEC’s classification of the asset as a security.
After news last week that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Coinbase for allegedly allowing US residents to trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities, the SEC took action.
A couple of weeks ago, the Dutch central bank revealed that Binance in the Netherlands was being penalized for operating without the proper documentation.
In April, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which regulates crypto service provider registrations, fined Binance S$3.4 million.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against the US arm of the exchange, Binance.US, for marketing and selling the worn-out 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