In response to the petition filed appealing to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ban the operations of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance in the country, the department said it cannot embargo the exchange for cryptocurrency-related sales and promotion as there are no clear regulations issued by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
“Cryptocurrency and other forms of virtual assets are not consumer products…The [DTI] has no jurisdiction to act on applications for sales and promotion permits to promote virtual assets per se in the absence of clear legislation on the matter,” the DTI said in a written response to Infrawatch PH that was shared to news site Forkast.
Timeline of Events:
- (June 8) CZ visited the Philippines and talked to PH Media re: Binance expansion
- (June 8) CZ said they intend to obtain a local crypto license
- (June 9) Then Finance Secretary Dominguez said Binance is not yet registered and they are monitoring it
- (June 10) Binance Scholarship for Filipinos
- (June 15) Infrawatch PH sent a letter to the BSP asking it to ban and suspend the exchange for illegally operating here.
- (June 16) Binance responds: “We are open to discussions”
- (June 16) Binance is hiring 2,000 more people
- (July 7) Infrawatch Letter to DTI
- (July 7) Binance Answers New Infrawatch Letter
- (July 11) (This Article) DTI Responds
Last week, July 7th, InfraWatch Ph, a public policy think tank, sent a letter to DTI urging it to investigate the “illegal sales promotion of Binance which presumably have been launched without the necessary DTI permit considering the absence of a DTI permit number in the promotional advertisements and the general lack of applicable license and registration of Binance in the Philippines.” (Read more: Infrawatch PH Asks DTI to Suspend and Ban Binance Over Illegal Sales Promotion)
In an interview with Forkast, Terry Ridon, lawyer and convenor of InfraWatch, stressed that the cryptocurrency exchange, being an unregistered entity, has been illegally doing business in the country for several years already.
“We have information that other virtual currency platforms which are registered in the Philippines essentially undertake the same. They undertake DTI permitting requirements for sales promotion,” he stated, explaining that Binance should have acquired its license before operating.
On the other hand, a Binance spokesperson said the crypto exchange is currently working with regulators, law enforcement, and industry leaders to strengthen its security and sustainability within the industry. The statement seems to be a hint of what the exchange has been doing in the Philippines.
“In the Philippines, Binance is looking to secure the VASP and EMI licenses. We are continuously engaging in discussions with regulators and stakeholders within the country.”- Binance
“Our goal is to contribute to the Philippines’ increasingly vibrant Web3 and blockchain ecosystem,” they stated.
In line with this goal, CZ visited the Philippines last month to announce Binance’s desire to acquire the virtual assets service provider (VASP) license and the e-money issuer (EMI) license from the BSP. Binance also stated that it would like to provide scholarships to Filipino students. (Read more: CZ: Binance Philippines Plans to Acquire a Crypto Exchange VASP License from the BSP)
Further, Binance also tapped Khaby Lame, TikTok’s most-followed content creator, to become its brand ambassador to increase Web 3 and crypto awareness as well as global adoption. (Read more: Binance Taps Tiktok Star Khaby Lame as Brand Ambassador)
Aside from the DTI, InfraWatch also sent a letter to the BSP to suspend and ban Binance from operating in the country without the necessary licenses to do so. (Read more: BSP Urged to Ban Binance For Illegally Operating in the Philippines)
This article is published on BitPinas: DTI Responds to Infrawatch Letter to Ban Binance in the Philippines
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