Embattled online cryptocurrency exchange Binance has ceased its marketing efforts in the Philippines after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a public advisory against the company for operating without a license in the country.
In an advisory issued on Tuesday, Nov. 28, the SEC said Binance “is not authorized to sell or offer securities to the public” as it “not registered as a corporation in the Philippines and operates without the necessary license and/or authority to sell or offer any form of securities.”
Sought for comment, a Binance spokesperson based in South Korea told Newsbytes.PH that it has stopped its marketing activities in the Philippines while it seeks to comply with local regulations.
“We acknowledge and respect the statement made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines. At Binance, we are committed to aligning with applicable local regulations. Under our new leadership, we have ceased all marketing activities in the Philippines as part of our proactive measures to address the SEC’s concerns,” the company spokesman stated.
In the advisory, the SEC noted that Binance has been “employing promotional campaigns on various social media platforms to attract and entice Filipinos to engage in investment and trading activities using its platforms.”
The regulator noted that while it appears that the operators of the platform are registered brokers and dealers overseas, the company can only sell or offer securities and investment products in the Philippines if it has secured a license from the SEC.
“In view thereof, the public is hereby advised to exercise caution before investing in these kinds of unregistered online investment platforms and their representatives,” the agency said in its advisory.
“In addition, those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents, representatives, promoters, recruiters, influencers, endorsers, and enablers of the Binance platform in selling or convincing people to invest in this platform within the Philippines even through online means may be held criminally liable,” it warned.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been it hot water recently as its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty in the US to a felony related to his failure to prevent money laundering on the platform.