SEC urges NTC to block Binance's presence in PH

Business.(Business File photo)

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sought the assistance of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to block the website and other web pages used by Binance to protect the funds of Filipino investors.

The SEC, in a statement, said that Binance offered an investment and trading platform without the necessary license from the Commission.

SEC said the firm has not secured from the Commission a license to solicit investments from the public, nor to create or operate an exchange for the buying and selling of securities, as required by Republic Act 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code.

“The SEC has identified the aforementioned platform and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos,” SEC chairman Emilio Aquino said in the letter addressed to the NTC.

SEC’s formal request with NTC was approved during a Commission En Banc meeting on March 12, 2024.

Binance is a facility for trading financial instruments and offers investment products -- including spot trading using leverage, futures contracts, option contracts, cryptocurrency savings accounts, cryptocurrency staking services and a platform for initial coin offerings.

According to its website, Binance is hailed as the largest cryptocurrency website in the world, with an average daily trading volume of US$65 billion covering more than 402 cryptocurrencies, with a membership of over 183 million.

A cryptocurrency is a type of digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Unlike traditional currencies issued by governments, cryptocurrencies are decentralized and typically operate on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger that records all transactions across a network of computers. This means that no single entity, such as a government or bank, controls the currency or its transactions.

SEC said Binance has 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.

As early as November 2023, SEC started studying the possibility of blocking Binance’s website and other online presence in the Philippines. It has since warned the public against investing in and using Binance.

“Considering the size and volume of Binance’s operations, however, the SEC ensured that the investing public would have enough time to exit the platform and reposition their portfolio in favor of authorized investment products and platforms,” the regulator said. / KOC


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