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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines has taken a drastic step by ordering tech giants Google and Apple to remove the cryptocurrency exchange Binance from their app stores. According to a recent press release, the commission issued letters to Google and Apple, requesting the removal of all applications controlled by Binance from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino highlighted that the Philippine public’s access to Binance sites and apps poses a significant threat to the security of investors’ funds. The regulator accused Binance of offering unregistered securities to Filipinos and acting as an unregistered broker, thereby violating the country’s securities laws.

Aquino emphasized the importance of blocking Binance from the app stores to prevent the further proliferation of illegal activities in the country. The SEC’s primary goal is to protect the investing public from the detrimental effects of Binance’s operations on the Philippine economy.

It’s worth noting that the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission had previously taken steps to block access to Binance’s websites in the country. The SEC had issued warnings to the public against using Binance and had been considering blocking the exchange’s services as far back as November. Despite lacking the necessary license from the regulator, Binance continued to actively promote its services on social media to attract funds from Filipinos.

The SEC urged Filipinos with investments in Binance to close their positions immediately or transfer their crypto holdings to registered crypto wallets or exchanges in the Philippines. This move aims to safeguard investors’ interests and prevent any further financial risks associated with Binance.

The order from the Philippines SEC adds to a series of challenges faced by Binance in recent times. The company recently underwent a leadership change, appointing Richard Teng as the new CEO, following a $4.3 billion fine imposed by U.S. authorities for alleged money laundering violations. Former CEO Changpeng Zhao was charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act and has agreed to step down, with his sentencing scheduled for April 30. Furthermore, Binance is facing lawsuits from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for mishandling customer assets and operating an illegal exchange in the U.S.

The Philippines’ SEC’s order to remove Binance from app stores underscores the regulator’s commitment to upholding securities laws, protecting investors, and safeguarding the country’s economy from potential risks associated with the cryptocurrency exchange.

Finance

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