Economy 06-05-2024 12:01 9 Views

Philippines Securities Regulator Set to Unveil Cryptocurrency Guidelines in Second Half

The Philippines’ securities regulator is set to unveil a regulatory framework for crypto assets and trading by the latter half of 2024.

SEC Chair Emilio Aquino announced plans last week to issue the framework by the second half this year, Business World Online reported Monday.

The upcoming cryptocurrency guidelines target regulating trading within the Philippines, prioritizing investor protection. This announcement aligns with the SEC’s recent efforts to tighten its grip on unregistered platforms.

Last month, the SEC actively pursued removing Binance-linked applications from Apple and Google app stores in the Philippines.

“The SEC has identified [Binance] and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos,” SEC Chair Emilio Aquino said in letters to the companies.

Philippines Takes Aim at Illegal Crypto Activity with App Removal

Aquino warned that selling unregistered securities and acting as an unlicensed broker in the Philippines is illegal under Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code. The crackdown on Binance is aimed at stoppoing unauthorized operations in the country.

He also reportedly mentioned that the tech giants usually act swiftly on requests to block apps. “I hope it’s fast. We already experienced this with lending apps before. The response is quick. It’s up to them (Google and Apple),” he said.

VPNs Pose Challenge for Philippines’ Crypto Crackdown

The regulator further emphasized the importance of proper licensing and registration for trading platforms. He reiterated that Republic Act No. 8799 mandates this compliance before offering securities trading.

He also acknowledged the ongoing challenge of users accessing unregistered platforms through virtual private networks (VPNs). While the SEC can’t completely prevent this, Aquino said: “They still can. But nobody gets to blame us. Maybe others might say that we didn’t do anything to stop these apps.”

Aquino added that the Philippines SEC is taking lessons from Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX’s collapse in Nov. 2022, where many Americans were “burned.”

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