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Philippines to block access to crypto giant Binance

MANILA: The Philippines will block access to cryptocurrency giant Binance, an official said Thursday, as part of a crackdown on online trading platforms operating in the country without licences.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Tuesday that Binance was not registered in the Philippines and therefore not authorised to sell or offer securities in the country.

Filipinos could withdraw their investments before access to Binance’s platform and apps was blocked, which was expected to happen “within three months”, it said.

Other online trading platforms, including OctaFX and Mitrade, will be blocked in the coming months after the SEC found they were also operating without necessary licences.

“We want to keep the investing public safe,” SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee told AFP on Thursday.

“These entities were given a chance, multiple times, over the last few years to register… the fact that a lot of them chose not to do so, that implies something to us.”

The SEC also asked Google and Meta to stop Binance advertisements from appearing in the Philippines.

“We’re not the only one doing this, a lot of other countries are doing the same thing,” Lee said.

“If you’re not registered, you’ll automatically have a problem.”

Earlier this month, former Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao resigned his post after he and the company pleaded guilty to sweeping US money laundering violations and agreed to fines of more than US$4 billion.

Source: New Straits Times

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