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Philippine-based public think tank Infrawatch PH has asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to probe Binance over illegally promoting offers in the country. Infrawatch PH made this request through a letter, claiming that the exchange has been targeting Filipino users with unregistered offers.
The letter, which the think tank’s Convenor, Terry Ridon, addressed to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, read:
We would like to bring to your immediate attention the illegal sales promotion of Binance which presumably have been launched without the necessary DTI permit considering the absence of a DTI permit number in the promotional advertisements and the general lack of applicable license and registration of Binance in the Philippines.
Ridon, a lawyer and a former legislator, asserted that Binance has been illegally operating in the Philippines for years. According to him, the exchange is not registered.
Their unregistered activity allows Filipinos to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and with wanton disregard of Philippine regulations, they perform the functions of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) through an unregulated platform.
Ridon further noted that Binance’s promotions target Filipinos on multiple platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other community groups.
According to him, Binance’s campaigns invite Filipinos to embrace cryptos with a promise to earn rewards. He added that the exchange promises rewards like money, local and international trips, and crypto, among other prizes.
Binance’s Alleged Murky Past Continues Haunting It
Ridon further noted that Binance does not have a good reputation in anti-money laundering policies. The Infrawatch PH Convenor referred to Reuters’ report on Binance being a hub for criminals. According to the report, Binance enabled the laundering of $2.5 billion in illicit funds over the past five years.
Responding to Infrawatch PH’s letter, a Binance spokesperson told:
In the Philippines, Binance is looking to secure the VASP and EMI licenses. We are continuously engaging in discussions with regulators and stakeholders within the country. Our goal is to contribute to the Philippines’ increasingly vibrant Web3 and blockchain ecosystem.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time for Infrawatch PH to speak against Binance. In the past month, the public think tank sent a letter to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), requesting it to bar Binance from illegally operating in the Philippines.
According to BSP’s website, Binance does not hold a Virtual Asset Services Provider (VASP) license. Virtual asset companies need this license to operate in the Philippines.
This news comes as Binance continues facing regulatory issues in different jurisdictions. Earlier this year, the exchange shut down operations in Ontario following an order from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). Reportedly, Binance failed to meet securities laws that the OSC enforced last year.