Binance app on phone

Philippines: Policy think tank Infrawatch PH requests SEC to ban Binance immediately

Infrawatch PH, a local public policy think tank in the Philippines, has sent a request to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling for the immediate investigation and ban of digital assets exchange Binance’s operation in the country. 

In the 12-page letter filed with the SEC by Infrawatch PH’s convener Terry I. Ridon, the group stated specific actions it wants the commission to take against Binance. These include:

“Conduct motu proprio proceedings on the illegal operations of Binance in the Philippines; issue cease and desist order to stop all operations of Binance, its affiliates, and partners in the Philippines; impose the maximum fine or penalty against Binance and its workforce, and; reject any and all future applications of Binance and Binance affiliates to register with the SEC.” 

Infrawatch PH raises several points to argue its case against the digital assets exchange. According to the group, it is public knowledge that Binance has been operating illegally in the Philippines. 

A recent public warning issued by former Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez also backs this claim, the think tank said. The warning categorically declared that Binance has no records with the SEC or the central bank—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). 

Despite not having permits, having no office in the country, and operating through third parties, Binance has been offering and promoting financial products and instruments in the country. The letter added that the exchange boasts over 1.4 million users and has announced plans to reinforce its existing presence. 

Other reasons raised for the group’s concern include the fact that Binance has controversial standing in 13 other countries, and its continued operation in the Philippines gives it an unfair advantage over the 19 virtual assets service providers (VASPs) that have subjected themselves to the rigorous licensing process. 

The ban will aim to protect the public from undue financial risks that Binance’s lack of accountability exposes them to, Infrawatch surmised. 

Binance claims to remain committed to regulatory compliance 

The letter isn’t the first time the think tank has made a case against Binance. Earlier this month, Infrawatch PH sent a similar request to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The DTI, however, responded that it had no legal basis in order to ban Binance, according to a report

Binance’s regulatory troubles, which reached a new high last year, have continued to increase. The exchange’s United States subsidiary, BinanceUS, has seen a class action suit filed against it concerning its promotion and sales of the collapsed Terra LUNA and UST tokens. 

However, the exchange has often reiterated that it is committed to working with regulators and maintaining regulatory compliance. 

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