06 May

The securities regulator of the Philippines is poised to introduce a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency assets and trading by the latter part of 2024.

According to SEC Chair Emilio Aquino, the plans to release this framework were disclosed last week, with the aim of implementing it by the second half of the year, as reported by Business World Online on Monday.

The forthcoming guidelines for cryptocurrencies are aimed at overseeing trading activities within the Philippines, with a primary focus on safeguarding investor interests. This announcement reflects the SEC's recent endeavors to strengthen its oversight over unregistered platforms.

In a proactive move last month, the SEC took steps to remove applications associated with Binance from Apple and Google app stores in the Philippines.

Emilio Aquino, Chair of the SEC, emphasized the identification of Binance and the determination that continued access to these websites and apps poses a risk to the security of funds for Filipino investors in letters addressed to the companies.

Philippines Removes Apps to Target Illegal Crypto Activity

Aquino emphasized that engaging in the sale of unregistered securities and operating as an unlicensed broker in the Philippines constitutes illegal activity under Republic Act No. 8799, commonly known as The Securities Regulation Code. The regulatory actions taken against Binance are intended to halt unauthorized operations within the country.

He further noted that major tech companies typically respond promptly to requests to block applications. "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 remarked.

VPNs Present a Problem for the Philippine Cryptocurrency Crackdown

The regulator stressed the necessity of obtaining proper licensing and registration for trading platforms, reiterating that compliance with Republic Act No. 8799 is mandatory before engaging in securities trading.

Acknowledging the ongoing challenge posed by users accessing unregistered platforms via virtual private networks (VPNs), Aquino noted that while the SEC cannot entirely prevent this, they aim to mitigate blame by taking proactive measures. He stated, "They still can. But nobody gets to blame us. Maybe others might say that we didn’t do anything to stop these apps."

Aquino also mentioned that the Philippines SEC is drawing insights from the collapse of the Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX in November 2022, where many Americans suffered losses. 

May 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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