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Philippines SEC Directs Google, Apple to Delist Binance App Over Investor Security Concerns

Philippines SEC orders the removal of the Binance app, prioritizing investor security and economic stability.

Wed, 24 Apr 2024, 00:36 am UTC

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has mandated Google and Apple to remove the Binance cryptocurrency app from their stores, citing significant security risks to Filipino investors and potential negative impacts on the national economy.

Philippines SEC Cracks Down on Binance, Orders App Removal Over Security and Regulatory Concerns

The Philippines SEC has ordered the withdrawal of the Binance app from Google and Apple stores in the country, citing security concerns for investors and, perhaps, the local economy, Cointelegraph reported.

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Google and Apple to withdraw the Binance app from their respective app stores for customers in the Philippines.

A press release on April 23 states that the SEC is working with Big Tech businesses to remove "applications operated by cryptocurrency giant Binance." The companies received separate letters on April 19 about removing the apps from local markets.

“The SEC has identified [Binance] and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos,” the release read.

According to Emilio B. Aquino, chair of the SEC, selling or marketing unregistered securities to locals and functioning as an "unregistered broker" violates the country's securities legislation.

He stated that by removing Binance applications from digital app marketplaces, these companies would assist "prevent the further proliferation of its illegal activities in the country," and that doing so would have "detrimental" impacts on the local economy.

This action came shortly after the SEC and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) restricted access to Binance websites on March 25.

Since November 2023, the SEC has actively warned the public against utilizing Binance to invest. According to the report, the cryptocurrency exchange, one of the world's largest, has yet to obtain a license to solicit public investments or run a securities trading exchange.

Philippines SEC Finalizes Binance Ban, Sets Deadline for Fund Withdrawal Amid Global Regulatory Challenges

On April 8, following its official ban on Binance, an SEC spokesman underlined that consumers had already been given a three-month term, with an extension, to remove their funds from the exchange. Following this period, the SEC stated that it "cannot endorse" any means for reclaiming monies.

The move to prohibit Binance follows a crackdown by the SEC and the NTC on February 21, when they attempted to block and ban unregistered cryptocurrency trading sites in the country. At the moment, Binance remained unaffected.

Binance has been embroiled in numerous regulatory scandals worldwide, most recently a new class-action lawsuit in Canada on April 23rd, following charges of breaking local securities laws.

However, on April 18, the Bitcoin exchange said it would return to India after paying a $2 million fine for earlier noncompliance with local regulations.

On the same day, Binance was reported to have won its crypto license in Dubai, also known as the coveted Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP), after co-founder Changpeng Zhao relinquished his voting rights in the exchange's local organization.

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