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Philippines SEC to block Binance access, sets 3-month withdrawal window

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The largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is facing a ban in the Philippines by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission due to legal issues involving its former CEO. The SEC’s decision is based on Binance’s failure to comply with local corporate and financial regulations, as reported by Reuters.

The SEC found that Binance was operating in the Philippines without proper registration as a corporation and lacked the necessary license and authority to sell or offer securities in the country. As a result, the SEC is taking action to protect Filipino investors and maintain the integrity of the local financial market.

The ban on Binance in the Philippines will be enforced within three months from the issuance of the SEC’s advisory on Nov. 28. This window is intended to allow Filipino users ample time to withdraw their investments from the platform, minimizing potential financial disruptions.

The SEC has also reached out to major tech companies such as Google’s Alphabet and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, requesting them to block online advertisements promoting Binance in the Philippines. Additionally, the SEC warned that individuals involved in promoting or soliciting investments in Binance may face criminal charges.

Changpeng Zhao’s legal troubles

The heightened regulatory scrutiny on Binance is compounded by recent legal issues involving its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao. Zhao stepped down from his role after pleading guilty to charges related to the failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program at Binance. This development has raised concerns about the exchange’s compliance with global financial regulations and its impact on investors worldwide.

The Philippines’ decision to block Binance reflects a broader trend of regulatory authorities worldwide taking a firmer stance on cryptocurrency exchanges. This highlights the increasing need for these platforms to adhere to both local and international financial regulations to protect investors and prevent illegal activities.

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