The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has indicated that it is currently developing a regulatory framework designed to govern cryptocurrency transactions. The regulator emphasized the need for legislation pertaining to initial coin offerings (ICOs) in particular.
Philippine SEC to Partner With Overseas Counterparts
The commissioner of The Philippines’ SEC, Emilio Aquino, has indicated that the regulator is currently developing regulations designed to govern cryptocurrency transactions.
Commissioner Aquino indicated that The Philippines’ SEC is engaging with U.S. and Australian counterparts to develop the regulations. The commissioner has emphasized the protection of investors being the principal mandate of the SEC, stating “We want to come up with our own set of regulations. You have to be extra careful how investors in this new space are protected.”
Although the commissioner conceded that the legislation is currently in the “drafting stage,” he expressed his expectation that the regulatory framework will be developed “within the year.”
ICOs Must Register With Philippine SEC
The Philippines’ SEC will permit companies to conduct ICOs, provided that they comply with the regulator’s disclosure and registration requirements.
Mr. Aquino stated “The mindset of the commission has always been to foster innovation, but they need to register,” adding “Unfortunately, there have been a lot of cases where ICO promoters vanish into thin air. We don’t want that to happen here […] We need to act because initial coin offerings are sprouting.”
The announcement comes several weeks after the Philippines’ SEC filed a cease-and-desist order against four companies associated with the Krops ICO for violating securities laws. Mr. Aquino indicated that the SEC may choose to lift the order against Krops.
Philippine Regulator to Keep “Open Mind” Regarding Cryptocurrencies
Commissioner Aquino stated that The Philippines has sought to keep “an open mind” regarding cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology (DLT), alluding to the potential reduction in fees that virtual currency adoption could offer the approximately 10 million Philippine workers living abroad who are estimated to remit nearly $25 billion USD home each year.
Last year, The Philippines’ central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), developed legislation governing the operation of virtual currency exchanges. Two applicants have received approval so far, with the deputy director and head of the BSP’s core information technology specialist group indicating in December 2017 that the central bank was then reviewing 12 applications from prospective virtual currency exchanges.
What do you make of the Philippine SEC’s statements regarding its forthcoming cryptocurrency regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Author: Samuel Haig