Philippines: Policy think tank Infrawatch PH wants central bank to curb Binance’s back-door reentry

Binance should not be allowed to return to the Philippine market, and its latest efforts to find a way around its ban must be thwarted, Infrawatch PH said. The think tank wants Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to clarify its recent memorandum in which it suspended all new license applications and stopped Binance’s efforts to circumvent regulations.

The letter, which was shared with CoinGeek, asks the BSP to clarify whether the decision to suspend Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license applications “also prohibits any backhanded acquisition of existing entities with VASP licenses by new market entrants.

As CoinGeek reported, the BSP announced in August that it had suspended all applications for the next three years. The bank recognized that it had to strike a delicate balance between protecting investors and promoting innovation. In the meantime, BSP will focus on evaluating the overall performance of existing VASPs.

Binance was among those who had not yet obtained a license before the window closed. And as always, it was quick to find a workaround, with Philippines Managing Director Kenneth Stern revealing a week ago that the exchange was close to acquiring a licensed VASP. This would give the exchange a way back into the Southeast Asian country despite the SEC’s warning against it.

Infrawatch PH is one of many parties affected by Binance’s antics. If the exchange is allowed to re-enter the Philippine market, it will go against BSP’s “mandate” to provide an environment that encourages financial innovation while preserving the integrity and stability of the financial system” and undermines the ‘risk-based government approach to virtual assets’. transactions and service providers.

The think tank is not only biased against Binance, notes the letter, which was written by manager Terry Ridon. He pointed out that the exchange is being investigated around the world, from the United States and the United Kingdom to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand.

Additionally, the think tank wants BSP to be wary of Stern, “who shamelessly promotes an unregistered and unlicensed company in the Philippines.”

Although foiling the proposed buy will slow Binance down, it won’t be long before it grabs another VASP. As such, the think tank wants BSP to determine if the 19 licensed VASPs are operational. He believes that the central bank should stipulate that upon receipt of a license, a VASP must begin operations within a specified period or have the license suspended or revoked.

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