The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against Google and Apple, instructing them to remove the Binance app from their app stores for users in the Philippines.

SEC’s Decision

In a statement released on April 23, the SEC announced its collaboration with tech giants Google and Apple to eliminate the Binance app from their platforms. This action follows the SEC’s determination that allowing access to Binance poses a threat to the security of Filipino investors’ funds.

Violation of Regulations

Emilio B. Aquino, chair of the SEC, emphasized that Binance’s activities, such as selling unregistered securities and operating as an unregistered broker, violate the securities regulations of the Philippines. He stressed the importance of preventing the further spread of Binance’s illegal activities to safeguard the local economy.

Previous Warnings

The SEC has been cautioning the public against using Binance for investment purposes since November 2023. Despite being one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance has failed to obtain the necessary licenses to operate legally in the Philippines.

Enforcement Measures

In response to the SEC’s ban, which became official on April 8, users were given a three-month period, with an extension, to withdraw their funds from Binance. After this grace period, the SEC stated that it could not endorse any methods for retrieving funds.

Regulatory Crackdown

The SEC and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) previously took action on February 21 to block and ban unlicensed crypto trading platforms in the Philippines. Although Binance initially remained unaffected, it is now subject to the SEC’s enforcement measures.

Global Regulatory Challenges

Binance has faced regulatory challenges in various countries, including Canada, where it is involved in a class-action lawsuit for alleged violations of local securities laws. However, the exchange recently announced its return to India after paying a fine for previous regulatory non-compliance. Additionally, Binance obtained a crypto license in Dubai, known as the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license, following adjustments to its governance structure.

Conclusion

The Philippines SEC’s decision to remove the Binance app from Google and Apple app stores reflects its commitment to protecting Filipino investors from potential risks associated with unregulated cryptocurrency activities. This action aligns with previous warnings and enforcement measures aimed at ensuring compliance with securities regulations in the country.