- July 7 at 12:19 PM, BitPinas obtained a copy of the letter sent to DTI and updated the article with new information.
- July 8 at 3:19 PM: Read: BInance Answers Infrawatch Letter to DTI
Additional reporting by Michael Mislos
- Infrawatch PH called the DTI’s attention over Binance’s local promotion offers that don’t have permits.
- The Think Tank’s convenor Terry Ridon said the promos are casually posted in websites, Facebook and other community groups.
- Last month, Binance’s CEO spoke to Philippine media expressing their intention to secure licenses in the Philippines.
Public policy think tank Infrawatch PH called the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to investigate global cryptocurrency exchange Binance over its local promotion offers without securing proper permits in the country. In his letter to the DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (a copy of which is obtained by BitPinas):
Ridon, who is a lawyer and a former legislator, emphasized that Binance has been illegally doing business in the Philippines for several years already because it is an unregistered identity.
“As you may be aware, Binance, an unregistered entity in the Philippines, has been offering its services in the country for several years already. Their unregistered activity allows Filipinos to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and with wanton disregard of Philippine regulations, they perform the functions of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) through an unregulated platform,” he added.
Ridon said further that Filipino consumers are targeted by these promos as they are casually posted in websites, Facebook, and other community groups:
Further, the Infrawatch PH convener explained his concern that Filipinos’ hard-earned money that flows through the crypto exchange can be gone in an instant because of Binance’s lack of regulatory license and compliance.
“Consumers who transact with and through Binance are thus left by themselves. No less than Finance Sec. Dominguez even confirmed this unregulated business operated by Binance,” he highlighted.
Ridon also stressed that Binance does not have a good reputation for guarding money laundering incidents and that it has allowed laundering and other illicit activities to thrive on its platform.
The lawyer is talking about the article published by media outlet Reuters claiming that Binance is a hub for hackers, fraudsters, and drug traffickers, though Binance immediately answered this allegation and called the claim “misleading.”
Meanwhile, Ridon also said that the promotional campaigns of Binance just invited Filipinos to join with a promise of a reward ranging from monetary rewards, cryptocurrencies, local and international trips and other prizes but without safety measures because the campaigns are unregistered and unregulated.
“The Filipino participants are even required to register or refer the promotions to people to register in Binance, purchase or avail themselves of products and services offered by Binance, or join competitions in order to get a chance to win these prizes,” the lawyer added.
Just last month, Infrawatch PH also sent a letter to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to suspend and ban Binance from operating in the country without the necessary licenses to do so.
“Given the reckless and unlicensed sales promotion of Binance, together with their vehement disregard to Philippine laws, we strongly urge the Department of Trade and Industry to take action and order Binance to immediately cease and desist from offering their sales promotion to Filipinos for violating R.A. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines,” Ridon concluded.
Binance already released its statement regarding the think tank’s letter to the Central Bank, stating that it is open for discussions and is continuously engaging with the stakeholders globally, including in the Philippines.
As per the information in the BSP’s website, Binance is not a holder of the Virtual Asset Services Provider (VASP) license, but Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao expressed its intention to get one. “There are at least two licenses that we are interested in. There is VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider) license. There is an EMI license, which is more for traditional services,” CZ stated.
CZ guaranteed that Binance will “work very closely with governments to help crafting regulations and provide its expertise in the space.
Currently, Binance has gained licenses from France, Dubai, and Bahrain, and is applying for registration in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.
This article is published on BitPinas: Infrawatch PH Asks DTI to Suspend and Ban Binance Over Illegal Sales Promotion
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.