After issuing regulations for the cryptocurrency industry earlier this year, the Philippine authorities are considering further measures to increase the use of digital currencies. bitcoin in the country.
At a press conference this week, Emilio Aquino, SEC commissioner (Securities and Exchange Commission), revealed the intention of the authority to consider cryptocurrencies as securities, effectively submitting them to the regulatory code.
"We must consider these virtual currency offers as possible securities, in which case we will apply the Securities Regulatory Code," Aquino said. The increased frenzy and growing popularity around the initial coin offerings have pushed the authorities to establish new rules to protect consumers, the official added.
We have seen especially in social media sites that there are initial coin deals, including the most popular, of course [are] Bitcoin and Ethereum … but [there are] ] news that can be considered titles.
The SEC is inspired by current regulations enforced by its counterparts in the United States, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand, Aquino added.
In addition, the Commissioner also revealed talks between the SEC and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to approve and authorize cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Five or six companies "have already been registered and endorsed" by the central bank, said Aquino, whose services are currently limited to remittances from expatriate Filipino workers. Remittances using cryptocurrencies are cheaper and faster than traditional bank transfers and new payment platforms like PayPal or Western Union.
In separate statements Tuesday, BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the central bank had "an open approach" to financial technologies such as Bitcoin, pointing to two virtual currency exchanges currently registered with the BSP . "Several others are being evaluated," added the central banker, following regulations that came into effect last February.
The framework was announced as a "pioneering settlement" by the deputy chief of the central bank, Melchor Plabasan, last month. He went on to suggest that Bitcoin was both a monetary instrument and an instrument of investment whose risks can be managed. "If you want something fast, almost real-time and convenient, then there is the advantage of using virtual currencies like bitcoin," added the head of the central bank.
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