Infrawatch Reports Binance to BSP for Unlicensed Operations Amid Crypto to Bank Feature, Community Meetups

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  • Infrawatch PH, a policy think tank group, has written to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) about the unauthorized activities of Binance in the Philippines, citing its crypto-to-fiat announcement and community meetup in Cebu, which was organized by Binance Academy.
  • Infrawatch PH is asking the BSP to issue a warning similar to the one issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year, as Binance is operating in the country without the proper license.
  • This is not the first time Infrawatch has written to government agencies about Binance’s activities. Despite this, Binance has formed partnerships with government, educational, and private organizations in the Philippines, including collaborations with the DICT – Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center (CICC) while Binance Academy partnered with educational technology platform

Four months after its last letter to the authorities, Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon has again written to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla on February 6, 2023, about the activities of Binance in the country. The letter’s goal is to report the recent unauthorized activities of the “unregistered and unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange operating in the Philippines.”

The policy think tank group first mentioned that one of the violations committed by Binance is that its crypto-to-fiat conversion service is available in eight countries, including the Philippines.

The exchange giant’s announcement on Twitter about this feature is now deleted and some comments received by BitPinas on Facebook and on its website reveal the option to be not available.

Letter by Infrawatch accessed by BitPinas

BitPinas is one of the news agencies that reported the said feature of Binance, which is also used by Infrawatch as its source of information.

“It is our most respectful position that this new feature by an unregistered and unregulated cryptocurrency exchange—the conversion of virtual asset to fiat—one of the authorized activities granted to registered VASPs under BSP Circular 1108. Since Binance is not a BSP-registered VASP, and is not even a registered entity in the Philippines based on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s August 2022 warning to the public, it has no business offering this feature to Binance users in the Philippines,” the letter read. 

According to the Convenor, they are currently requesting the Central Bank to issue a similar warning issued by the SEC last year, as Binance is operating in the country without the appropriate license:

“This warning is critical in the face of continuing public concerns relating to cryptocurrency exchanges which had defrauded billions of dollars from countless users and investors, such as the most recent controversy surrounding fraud allegations against FTX and its former Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried. It is our position that proactive action by the BSP is critical to revive public confidence in the country’s emerging VASP sector, particularly because it is the BSP itself that regulates this sector.”

Moreover, another thing that the exchange has violated, as per Infrawatch, is its community meetups. It is because “through these community meet-ups, Binance is promoting an unregistered and unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines.” The think tank cited the very recent meetup in Cebu organized with Binance Academy.

“It is thus our prayer that the BSP undertakes measures to stop unauthorized operations of Binance and other unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, to ensure that the public and their investments are protected,” Ridon concluded. 

This is not the first time that Infrawatch has sent letters to different government agencies. Binance has since forged partnerships with different government, educational, and private organizations in the Philippines.

Here is the timeline of local events in which Infrawatch and Binance were involved since last year: 

This article is published on BitPinas: Infrawatch Reports Binance to BSP for Unlicensed Operations Amid Crypto to Bank Feature, Community Meetups

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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Nath Cajuday

BitPinas is the oldest blockchain and cryptocurrency news outlet that covers the Philippine blockchain and crypto scene. We are also writing general and international blockchain topics that are relevant to our audience.