Philippines SEC to ban Binance app from Google and Apple store

philippines sec to ban binance app from google and apple store

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking to remove the Binance app from Google Play store and Apple’s app stores nationwide.

On April 9, the commission sent separate letters to Google and Apple requesting the removal of the applications that allow users to access Binance’s trading platform. The recent move came after the Philippine National  Telecommunications Commission blocked access to the prominent cryptocurrency exchanges’ website in March 2024.

“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,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino wrote in the letter.

According to Aquino, Binance has been found guilty of offering unregistered securities to Philippine residents. The regulators have labeled Binance as an unregistered broker, currently in violation of the Securities Regulation Code.

Data from GWI research claims that the Philippines hosts more than 9.3 million cryptocurrency holders and is the seventh-largest nation in terms of cryptocurrency ownership. Considering the popularity of Binance across the globe, Binance likely handles a significant chunk of this market share.

According to Aquino, banning the Binance app will “prevent the further proliferation of its illegal activities in the country” and will help protect the public from its “detrimental effects” on the nation’s economy.

The SEC initially cracked down on the premiere cryptocurrency exchange in November 2023, citing a lack of a license to operate in the nation. Investors using Binance were given a three-month window to liquidate their positions on the platform.

As part of this effort, the commission also contacted Google and Meta, requesting a pause of advertisements from Binance targeting Philippine residents.

The recent move closely mirrors that of the Indian government, which blocked access to Binance using a similar strategy. First, the regulators urged tech giants Apple and Google to remove the Binance app and then completely revoked access to the platform by placing a geoblock on the exchange’s trading platform.

As previously reported by crypto.news, Binance is expected to return to India as a fully compliant platform after paying a hefty fine. It is yet to be seen if the firm will take up a similar route in the case of the Philippines.


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