09 Apr

With Binance's sudden restriction, many Filipino users are unsure about the future of their cryptocurrency assets. Paolo Ong, an attorney, talked about the impact of the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) decision to prohibit the exchange on its customers in a recent interview.

There Is No "pointing Out" of Binance

The SEC's PhiliFintech Innovation Office officer, Paolo Ong, joined One News PH to discuss the agency's position on noncompliant cryptocurrency exchanges as well as the reason behind the agency's prohibition on Binance.

The SEC has prohibited Binance's website and online services in the Philippines, as reported by Bitcoinist. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was contacted by the Filipino regulator in an effort to “protect Filipino investors.”

The SEC had to go deeper into their inquiry because of the current events surrounding the cryptocurrency exchange and Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, the former CEO of the company. The regulator concluded that it was "necessary to ban the platform," the lawyer clarified.

The SEC official did, however, clarify that the prohibition was not intended to target the biggest exchange globally. "This was a recurring enforcement action against these platforms," as an alternative.

 "We are not targeting Binance specifically, and this is a part of our efforts to fulfill our duty to safeguard Filipino investors."

The regulator has issued a warning to eToro, a cryptocurrency trading platform, for failing to register as a corporation in the Philippines and for operating without the necessary permissions.

The SEC official said that eToro's issue "is the same as Binance." They are functioning in the Philippines despite not having a registration.

In an effort to alert the public to the impending demise of the nation's trading platform, the regulatory body in the Philippines has begun the notice period.

Can Filipino Users of Binance Access Their Cryptocurrency?

 The lawyer clarified that the SEC's notice procedure initiates the "grace period" for eToro users. Investors have to decide whether to move their money to a personal wallet or one of the authorized and regulated exchanges operating in the nation.

The officer was questioned on Binance users who chose not to withdraw their funds, as they are now unable to access their holdings due to the exchange being blacklisted by Philippine internet service providers.

According to Ong, consumers of the cryptocurrency exchange had enough time to withdraw their money:

"We released the warning in November of last year. We provided a term of three months. In actuality, we prolonged the time frame during which users might withdraw their funds or assets from the platform."

Since the blocking order has been lifted, the SEC official confirmed that the agency “cannot endorse any method” for investors to “take out their money.”

The lawyer estimates that in 2023, cryptocurrency transactions in the Philippines will total over $80 billion. He underlined that the SEC is creating regulations for cryptocurrencies in an effort to safeguard Filipino investors because of the significant numbers.

However, as Ong indicated, these rules take time, thus;

"Establishing the Innovation Office to advise consumers on the benefits and risks associated with the many technologies utilized in financial services is one way the SEC tackled these advancements."

Neither eToro nor Binance had submitted a formal application to the SEC for a license at the time of the interview. The lawyer claims that they haven't made an effort to "do the right thing" and abide by the laws of the nation.

April 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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