Philippines moves to block Binance as former chief pleads guilty

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission has begun blocking access to crypto exchange Binance amid its former chief Changpeng Zhao pleading guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws last week.

The regulator said Binance lacked proper licensing and authority to operate and sell securities in the country. Filipino users have three months to withdraw funds before the exchange is blocked.

This week, Changpeng Zhao was instructed to remain in the United States after admitting to violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws. 

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Zhao’s current stay in the U.S. is pending a decision by a Seattle court, which will determine whether he remains until his February sentencing or is allowed to leave the country.

The judge in Seattle, Richard Jones, is reassessing the situation due to a U.S. government appeal against a prior decision permitting Zhao to go back to the UAE before his sentencing. Zhao agreed to a $175 million bond as part of his bail.