Philippines SEC Orders Binance’s Removal From Google And Apple App Stores, Report

Philippines SEC Orders Binance’s Removal From Google And Apple App Stores, Report

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stepped up its ongoing regulatory crackdown, ordering Google and Apple to remove Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, from their respective app stores. This follows earlier regulatory actions against the exchange’s operations in the Asian country. 

Binance Faces Escalating Legal Challenges

According to a recent CNBC report, the SEC alleges that Binance violated securities laws by offering unregistered securities to Filipino investors and operating as an unregistered broker. The regulator believes that continued access to Binance sites and apps threatens the security of investing Filipinos’ funds.

SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino emphasized the need to protect the investing public and the economy from the “harmful effects” of Binance’s alleged illegal activities. 

The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission had previously taken measures to block access to Binance’s websites in the country.

Furthermore, the SEC had previously cautioned the Philippine public against using the platform and had been considering blocking the exchange’s services since November 2023. 

Nevertheless, the regulator claims that despite lacking a regulatory license, Binance actively promoted its services on social media to attract funds from Filipino investors.

To mitigate potential risks, the SEC urges Filipinos with investments in Binance to promptly close their positions or transfer their cryptocurrency holdings to registered crypto wallets or exchanges within the Philippines.

Allegations Of Misconduct And Enforcement Actions

This latest regulatory action adds to the mounting challenges facing Binance. In November 2023, the company replaced its former CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as “CZ,” with Richard Teng, the former head of United Arab Emirates regulator Abu Dhabi Global Markets, after the US government fined $4.3 billion for alleged money laundering violations. 

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Former CEO Changpeng Zhao faced charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and has agreed to step down, with his sentencing scheduled for April 30.

Binance also faces lawsuits filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), alleging mishandling of customer assets and the operation of an illegal and unregistered exchange within the country.

As Binance grapples with these multiple legal challenges, its removal from the Google and Apple app stores in the Philippines is a significant setback for the exchange. It underscores the increasing scrutiny the cryptocurrency industry faces as regulators worldwide seek to enforce compliance and protect investors.

Binance

Despite the escalating regulatory challenges confronting the exchange, Binance’s native token, BNB, has exhibited strong market performance. 

Currently trading at $607, the token has experienced a significant uptrend of 13% over the past week alone. This upward momentum positions BNB favorably to surpass its previous all-time high of $686, which was achieved in May 2021.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com 

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