Philippine Regulator Asks Crypto Community to Aid Draft ‘Appropriate Rules’

The Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is asking inputs from shareholders to draft appropriate rules on cryptocurrency and blockchain.

The Philippines’ market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is seeking the active participation of the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain community to assist government agencies in drafting an ‘appropriate rule’ for the space.

Speaking at the second general assembly of the Philippine Association of Digital Commerce and Decentralized Industry (PADCDI) and sponsored by UnionBank of the Philippines, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong is encouraging input from all stakeholders in creating cryptocurrency trading regulations.

He told the members of the group:

“The government wants to be proactive in creating rules about cryptocurrency. We want to engage all the stakeholders by asking for your feedback. We don't want to ban anything just because we don't understand something. That is why your feedback and your cooperation are important so we can come up with an appropriate rule about cryptocurrency trading.”

Amatong explained that the SEC’s primary role in the blockchain and digital currency space is to protect investors and consumers from possible fraud and other scams involving the new technology. In addition, the government must ensure that digital assets are not exploited by criminal elements in money laundering or terrorist groups to finance their underground activities.

"There has to be a regulation. And in the SEC that is our goal here, to ensure that the rules are followed to protect the interest of everybody,” Amatong added.

SEC warns against unregistered ICOs

In January, the SEC issued a public advisory warning the public against unregistered initial coin offerings (ICOs), telling them to take extra caution when dealing with companies offering ICOs to raise funds for their cryptocurrency project.

The advisory reads:

“If a promoter, issuer, broker or salesman guarantees returns, if a potential investment sounds too good to be true, or if you are pressured to act hastily, please exercise utmost caution and diligence and be wary of the risk that your investment might be lost.”

SEC, Central Bank nearing completion of unified crypto rules

In the same event, Amatong revealed that the SEC and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank, are nearing completion of a draft unified rules on cryptocurrencies.

He said that the coordination with the BSP is still on track to release a comprehensive and streamlined regulation.

Under its current rules, the BSP is allowing cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses to operate in the county if they register as money changers or remittance services. However, the central bank said it, "does not, in any manner, constitute an endorsement of virtual currency as legal tender, store of value or investment instrument."