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Philippines SEC Takes Action On Binance As Nigeria Dithers

As Nigeria continues to delay action on Binance,the biggest crypto exchange in the world, the Philippines has become the latest country to make moves to ban the firm from its shores following compliance concerns and accusations of illegality.

Binance had been operating in Nigeria for over two years, resulting in havoc of over $26 billion fictitious transactions taken place in the system in 2023, without identification and apprehension by the regulatory authorities.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Yemi Cardoso recently raised the alarm.

The nation’s regularor of Nigeria’s capital market, Securities and Exchange Commission had queried Binance, twice last year, declaring their activities illegal, but the activities continued.

On Tuesday, the EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede said the the agency discovered a new financial scheme that poses a significant threat to the stability of the foreign exchange market.

According to Olukoyede, the scheme, known as the “P to P” peer-to-peer financial trading scheme, operates outside the official banking and financials.

He stated that this illicit activity could have disastrous consequences for the Naira’s value, which has been steadily rising.

In response to this new threat, the EFCC has taken decisive action by freezing approximately 300 accounts associated with the scheme.

Olukoyede stressed the urgency of addressing this issue, stating that over $15 billion has passed through one of these platforms in the past year alone, circumventing financial regulations.

In a bold move, the Philippines Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Apple and Google to remove Binance app from their respective App stores for users in the Philippines.

According to CoinTelegraph, a press release by the SEC on April 23 said it is working with Apple and Google to remove applications operated by Binance, the biggest crypto exchange in the world. It confirmed that the big tech companies received separate letters to that effect on April 19.

“The SEC has identified [Binance] and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos.” the SEC said.

Emilio Aquino, Chair of the SEC explained that Binance selling or offering unregistered securities to locals and acting as an unregistered broker is against the laws of the country’s securities regulation.

He added that by removing Binance applications from the Digital app marketplace the big tech companies would help reduce the spread of illegal activities in the country’s securities sector.

This move by the SEC follows the blocking of access to Binance websites by the SEC and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on March 25.

The Philippines SEC has actively warned its citizens to desist from using Binance for investing since November 2023 citing that the crypto exchange was yet to secure a license to solicit investment from the public or operate an exchange to buy and sell securities.

Earlier on an SEC official said that Binance users were given three months to facilitate the withdrawal of their funds from the platform after which the government would no longer endorse any means to withdraw funds when the time elapse.

Binance has been involved in a series of showdowns with various countries on issues of compliance and accusations of illegal activities. In Nigeria two of its executives were detained over charges of currency manipulation. One of them escaped from detention manned by security agencies.

MetroBusinessNews/a strategic cross-reporting initiative

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