Binance Banned in Philippines, Firm’s Controversy in Nigeria Add to its Troubles

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At a time when cryptocurrencies are snapping out of a two-year slumber period to sprint on a bull run, the largest crypto exchange in the world is facing multiple legal crisis in different parts of the world. The government of Philippines, in a fresh development, has announced a ban on Binance citing its lack of an official operational licence. The move comes as another legal battle that Binance has to tackle when it is already under the regulatory scanner in Nigeria.

Binance has not secured a licence to solicit investment from the public, or to create and operate an exchange for the buying and selling of securities from the SEC, as required by Republic Act No. 8799 or The Securities Regulation Code (SRC). This information has been disclosed through an official notice released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines.

“The SEC has identified that the public’s continued access to (Binance) websites/apps poses a threat to the security of investing Filipinos,” Emilio B. Aquino, the Chairperson of Philippines’ SEC.

The country’s National Telecommunications Commission has been directed to restrict all access to Binance website and app. Residents of the country who were using the platform are distressed about the safety of their funds. Screenshots of Binance-related websites not loading anymore in Philippines are surfacing on social media. People are reaching out to Binance’s current CEO Richard Teng to guide them in this situation.

This is not the first time, that the Philippines has expressed its concerns around Binance’s unlicenced operations. The SEC in the country has been raising flags against this subject since November last year. As of now, the exchange has not addressed this development. This incident, however, does spell a major setback for the exchange, that has been aiming to become the most licenced crypto exchange in the world.

Binance, which is licenced in Kazakhstan, Italy, and France — is facing hurdles in Australia, and Abu Dhabi.

Nigeria is also closely examining Binance. Earlier this month, Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes had reportedly summoned its CEO Teng on suspicions of the exchange’s potential involvement in money laundering and terror financing.

Meanwhile, in a shocking development this week, Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla managed to escape from the custody of Nigerian authorities. He is reportedly suspected to have fled the nation via a smuggled passport. Nigeria is now on the lookout for Anjarwalla.

In a report released earlier this month, Binance claimed that its user asset holdings surpassed the mark of $100 billion (roughly Rs. 8,33,275 crore).

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