Google, Apple could remove Binance from their app store on Philippines SEC request

  • The Philippines SEC has requested Google and Apple to remove applications controlled by Binance from their App stores. 
  • The exchange’s Philippines-based users are finding the exchange inaccessible to remove their funds. 
  • BNB price increased over 1.5 times since the Philippines SEC issued its first warning on Binance in November 2023. 

Binance-controlled applications on Google’s Play Store and Apple App Store could soon be removed for Philippines-based users afterthe Philippines SEC, which is responsible for regulating the country’s securities industry, banned several crypto trading platforms in 2023, including Binance. 

The agency offered a three-month grace period for investors starting November 2023 to pull their funds off the crypto exchange Binance. 

Bid adieu to Binance-controlled apps in Philippines

The Philippines SEC has sent two separate letters to Google and Apple, dated April 19, asking the tech giants to remove Binance-controlled applications from their app stores. The request is a part of recurrent enforcement actions against crypto firms that lack licenses to operate within the country. 

Attorney Paolo Ong, in charge of the SEC’s PhiliFintech Innovation Office, told a local news outlet that the SEC has not “singled out” `Binance. In 2023, at a time when crypto transactions in the Philippines amounted to around $80 billion, the SEC took steps to protect Filipino investors and drafted rules for cryptocurrencies. While regulations take time, the agency set up an Innovation Office to guide people about the risks and opportunities in the kinds of technologies used in financial services. 

Attorney Ong said that nearly 14 crypto firms were banned in the Philippines in 2023, Binance included. Ong told Cointelegraph that the SEC has already given users three months and extended it a little to allow them to withdraw their funds from the exchange.

Users who failed to comply are now unlikely to have the opportunity to do so as access to the exchange is blocked by Filipino internet service providers. 

Binance didn't immediately respond to FXStreet's request for comment. 

Binance on thin ice with authorities in many countries

Binance has previously faced legal action in several countries. The exchange agreed to pay a $4.3 billion settlement to the US Department of Justice, and former CEO Changpeng Zhao stepped down as CEO after being charged with violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. 

Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service announced in March that Binance faces charges in the country. Binance is alleged to have made no payments on Value-Added Tax (VAT or sales tax) and company income tax. The platform allegedly failed to submit tax returns and authorities state that the exchange is complicit in aiding tax evasion through its platform. 

Binance faces a tax evasion trial in Nigeria on May 17. 

Binance’s native token BNB rallied nearly 163% since the Philippine SEC’s advisory against the exchange. BNB price is $607.9 on Binance at the time of writing.

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