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Philippines Blocks Binance Exchange

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Philippines Blocks Binance Exchange

The financial regulator in the Philippines is taking action against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, by blocking local user access to its platform. The country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cited concerns over Binance’s unlicensed operations within the country. The SEC has sought assistance from the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) to prevent access to Binance’s website and online trading platform. The SEC believes that allowing the public continued access to these platforms poses a threat to the security of Filipino investors’ funds. The ban will be implemented within three months to allow investors time to exit their positions held through Binance.

The Philippines’ financial watchdog alleges that Binance has been offering investment products without the necessary licenses, including leveraged trading services and crypto savings accounts. This is a violation of the Securities Regulation Code. To further restrict Binance’s operations in the country, the SEC has also requested Google and Meta to block Binance-related advertisements from appearing on their platforms for Filipino users.

This ban in the Philippines comes as another regulatory setback for Binance, which has been under increasing scrutiny worldwide. In December, a U.S. court ordered Binance to pay a hefty fine of $2.7 billion, while its former CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, was ordered to pay $150 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This marked the conclusion of a long-standing case against Binance, which was sued by the CFTC in 2023 for evading federal law and operating an illegal derivatives exchange. As part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Treasury Department, and the CFTC, CZ agreed to step down from his role at Binance. He also pleaded guilty to multiple civil charges and one criminal charge related to Anti-Money Laundering laws, but his sentencing has been delayed until April 30. Currently, he is free on a $175 million release bond.

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