Filipino Thinktank Infrawatch PH Blows Whistle on Binance

Filipino think-tank Infrawatch PH has called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to investigate Binance exchange for illegally operating in the Philippines.

According to a report from Bitpinas, who obtained a copy of the letter sent by Infrawatch convener, Terry Ridon, the regulator’s attention is being called to what it called Binance’s local promotions that do not come with a permit.

“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,” the letter reads.

Ridon said the Binance exchange is a breeding ground for criminal activities as the exchange is known as a hub for money launderers. The Think-Tank’s position is hinged on an earlier report from Reuters which noted that billions of dollars have been laundered through the trading platform in the past few years, a claim Binance has debunked.

Infrawatch Claims Binance is Operating Illegally

Drawing on his previous experience as a lawyer and a former legislator, Ridon noted that Binance is operating illegally in the country and that the trading platform does not have regard for Philippines laws.

“As you may be aware, Binance, an unregistered entity in the Philippines, has been offering its services in the country for several years already. 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,” he added.

The year 2021 was a tough one for Binance as many regulators revoked its license beginning from the UK to Hong Kong, and South Africa. In the past 12 months, the trading platform has improved its relationship with regulators and has secured operation licenses in key regions like Italy, Dubai, and France.

While the call by Infrawatch PH may serve as a major setback if acted upon by the DTI, Binance has often reiterated its plans to work with regulators, a move that may be brought into play this time around.

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