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Philippines SEC begins Binance ban countdown

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The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission head Kelvin Lee clarified in a panel on Dec. 13 that a ban on Binance would come into effect three months after its advisory was issued.

According to a report from local news BitPinas, Lee said there has been a lot of confusion on the internet about the ban after regulators issued an advisory to the cryptocurrency exchange for operating without a license on Nov. 28.

He was asked to clarify the matter and that the ban was “supposed to be three months from the issuance date,” which he said was given on Nov. 29.

“Depending on how feedback is, we can actually extend that, but currently, we should feel lucky with the three months.”

He said the original recommendation was one month, even a “one-week transition period,” but he decided on more time due to the Christmas holiday. “Not to make it hard for Filipino investors during that time,” he said.

In addition to Binance, Lee said that OctaFX and MiTrade, two other exchanges recently issued with advisories for unregistered operations, also face bans after three months.

The local SEC said it has a sizable list of unregistered exchanges that will gradually emerge. However, it is also attempting a “wait-and-see” approach on whether or not the exchanges will register after seeing the action taken against Binance.

Related: Philippines to sell $179M in tokenized treasury bonds for the first time

The report said Lee received criticism regarding the Binance ban because it is “cheaper” than other registered exchanges.

“Of course, they are cheaper because they never bothered to register in the Philippines and bothered to comply,” he said. “Unlike the registered entities, there is of course compliance costs.”

He cautioned local investors to “invest in registered entities,” saying there are currently 17 virtual asset service providers registered in the country that offer fiat-to-crypto services.

“At the end of the day, it’s about registration. At the end of the day, it’s about consumer protection. Work with the registered entities.”

Cointelegraph reached out to Binance for comment on the situation and any plan of action in the Philippines. 

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