Following the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warning against Binance for unauthorized securities sales and its impending domain blockage, the Filipino cryptocurrency community has shown diverse reactions. Binance, renowned as one of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms in the country, is now at the center of significant discussion.
Read more about the Binance situation in the Philippines:
Public Reaction and Regulatory Inquiry
Heed the SEC’s advice, says crypto lawyer
In the BitPinas webcast discussing the Binance situation, crypto lawyer Atty. Rafael Padilla, when asked if it is still okay to use Binance despite the SEC advisory, said it is best to take heed of the SEC’s advice in this situation.
“As a lawyer, I feel bound to echo the advice of the SEC. And it should not matter whether it is a cease and desist order or not, because the advisory is clear and we should take heed of that.”
Concerns about the ban
Filipino users of Binance have voiced concerns, questioning the SEC’s timing, given Binance’s history of ban requests from entities like the think tank Infrawatch.
Can Binance Obtain a License?
Certain users have enquired as to whether Binance can obtain a license in the country to resolve the issue. However, it can be remembered that the firm has expressed wanting to get a license since last year but the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas currently has a three-year moratorium for applications. In the hope to get around this, Binance tried to acquire a local company with the necessary licenses—up to this date, there is still no update regarding this.
“SEC should (be) open or welcome to all foreign exchanges to registered here in the Philippines; more foreign investor, more tax collected, more economy growth,” a netizen, Roy Tanquilan, commented.
This sentiment was supported by another comment during the recent BitPinas webcast with Atty. Rafael Padilla on whether Binance going to be banned in the Philippines or not.
“Give Binance proper requirements and regulations to follow so they can comply. Filipinos will not insist Binance if PDAX, GCash, Coins, and Maya have low fees like Binance,” BitPinas follower Gzi Towers wrote.
Commending the SEC’s move
Moreover, in a LinkedIn shared post, Gemeniano Bentor Jr., MPA, CAMP, CFCP, an Area Compliance Officer in the APAC Region, commended the move of the Commission noting that he hopes the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) or any relevant government agency blocks not just Binance but all unlicensed Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).
He suggests a concerning scenario where regulators lack visibility into the operations of Binance because the platform is not licensed or registered in the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) portal. According to him, the absence of registration could lead to a lack of monitoring for suspicious transactions, posing a significant risk as regulators are unaware of the nature of transactions processed by Binance.
“What if (just what if) a lot of transactions already went to terrorist organizations, N. Korea, sanctioned parties or individuals but there simply is no way for the government to know coz there’s no STR/CTR? Just what if!” he added.
Blocking the website
On the other hand, Alex Timbol, commented that blocking websites is “a bit extreme.”
“After all we can read foreign news like CNN & BBC even though our Constitution limits media ownership to 100% Filipino. Also, the BSP allows Filipinos to invest overseas. What they may block are local marketing activities,” he explained.
Current SEC x Binance Status
In recent developments, Binance has admitted guilt and agreed to pay the US SEC a $4.3 billion fine for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, with charges involving inadequate anti-money laundering controls facilitating criminal use of the platform.
Following this, the PH SEC also issued an advisory against Binance for unauthorized operations. Moreover, Commissioner Kelvin Lee announced a request for collaboration with the NTC to block unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms in the country.
On November 29, a Binance spokesperson sought to retract a prior statement about halting marketing efforts in the Philippines, citing a need for more information. Shortly after, at 4:54 pm, Binance issued a statement acknowledging and respecting the Philippines SEC’s concerns.
The statement emphasized Binance’s commitment to aligning with local regulations and outlined proactive measures taken under new leadership to address regulatory issues.
This article is published on BitPinas: PH Crypto Community Reacts to SEC Warning vs. Binance
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