The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines has begun the process of restricting access to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The SEC asserts that Binance, the operator, is not a registered corporation in the Philippines and lacks the necessary licenses and authority to offer or sell any form of securities. The move comes after the recent resignation of Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who pleaded guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws.

According to the SEC’s statement issued on 28 November, the block on Binance access in the Philippines will be implemented within three months. This time frame allows Filipino users to withdraw their investments from the cryptocurrency exchange. The regulatory body has also requested major online platforms, including Google and Meta (Facebook’s parent company), to prohibit online advertisements from Binance within the Philippines. Additionally, individuals involved in selling via or encouraging investments in the platform have been warned of potential criminal liability.

Changpeng Zhao stepped down as Binance’s CEO after pleading guilty to charges related to the failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. The SEC’s action in the Philippines further underscores regulatory scrutiny on cryptocurrency exchanges globally. Binance, which has a significant user base in the Philippines, has not yet responded to Reuters’ request for comment on the matter.