Binance gives security assurances in Philippine senate banking committee hearing

Binance representatives participated in a hearing of the Philippine Senate Banking Committee, according to a local press report on Wednesday. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, Chairman of the country’s Security Exchange Commission (SEC), Emilio Aquino, and members of FinTech Alliance Philippines and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority also participated in the hearing.

The hearing was dedicated to fintech innovation and consumer protection, according to the report. Fonacier discussed a sandbox approach to regulation, and Aquino talked about the security of digital assets. Binance was represented by APAC Director Leon Foong and Philippines Managing Director Kenneth Stern, who spoke to the audience about the security of the exchange and the Know Your Customer process. Stern told the hearing:

“78% of Filipinos are still unbanked, but crypto can help reduce that number, as holders of crypto assets will soon exceed the number of credit card holders in the country.”

Binance said it is also sponsoring a training program for new cryptocurrency traders in the Philippines this month and is in talks with local universities to offer courses and certification in blockchain technology.

The Philippines has had an ambiguous relationship with crypto and Binance in particular, despite its rapidly growing economy and the popularity of cryptocurrency in the country. Binance has long sought to set up services in the country but faced opposition from a local think tank which was later removed from office by the authorities.

Nevertheless, the Philippine SEC issued a letter on August 2 warning the public against investing with Binance. The country’s central bank will impose a three-year moratorium on applications from virtual asset service providers starting September 1, citing “risks that could undermine financial stability”. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in June that the company would pursue VASP licensing in the country.

The central bank of the Philippines said it is also looking into issuing a wholesale central bank digital currency.