After the adoption of a regulation on cryptocurrency industry earlier this year, Philippine authorities consider the following steps to expand the use of digital currencies such as bitcoin in the country.
At a press conference this week, a member of the State Commission on securities and stock market (SEC) Emilio Aquino said that the body intends to consider cryptocurrencies as securities and, accordingly, to regulate them.
“We are focused on the recognition of the so-called proposals of virtual currencies securities regulation which applies to the securities Law,” said Aquino.
According to officials, increased excitement and the growing popularity of IPOs of coins forced the government to set new rules to protect consumers.
He also added:
From social networking it is clear that some offerings are primary offerings of coins, the most popular being, undoubtedly, bitcoin and Ethereum… but some new proposals can be considered securities.
Aquino also added that the SEC takes into account the existing legal acts adopted by their counterparts in the USA, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.
In addition, the official reported negotiations between the SEC and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP (Central Bank of the Philippines) regarding the approval and licensing of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. According to Aquino, five or six companies “registered and approved” the Central Bank, and their services are limited to transfer incoming payments of Filipinos working abroad. Remittances in bitcoin is much cheaper and faster than traditional Bank transfers or new payment platforms such as PayPal or Western Union.
On Tuesday in a separate statement, the Chairman of the BSP Nestor Espenilla Jr. said that the Central Bank uses the “unbiased approach” to financial technology like bitcoin, and recalled that the BSP has recently registered two cryptocurrency exchanges. He also added that it is assessing several more exchanges, after the adoption of a normative act that entered into force in February this year.
Last month, the Deputy Director of the Central Bank Melhor Labasan identified the regulatory framework as “innovative regulation”. He also came to the conclusion that bitcoin is a financial and investment instrument, risks which can be managed.
“If you need something quick and easy, working almost in real time, it makes sense to use digital currencies, such as bitcoin,” – said the head of the Central Bank.