Crypto guidelines in the Philippines under development, official says

Category: Asia Crypto Regulatory

The Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are in talks to develop comprehensive guidelines governing the registration and trading of cryptocurrencies in the Philippines, according to Finance Secretary Ralph Recto.

Recto disclosed plans for cryptocurrency guidelines during an interview following the induction of officers of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines. He emphasized the need for caution in navigating the cryptocurrency landscape, citing concerns over fraudulent schemes and the viability of certain cryptocurrencies.

Blocking Binance, OctaFX, MiTrade

In March, the SEC took proactive measures to safeguard investors by requesting the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to block the online presence of several cryptocurrency trading platforms, including Binance, OctaFX, and MiTrade, due to unauthorized operations in the Philippines.

In a recent meeting, the Commission En Banc authorized the filing of a formal request with the NTC to block websites and web pages associated with Binance. SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino underscored the potential threat posed by these platforms to the security of Filipino investors’ funds.

According to the SEC, Binance has failed to obtain the necessary license from the firm to operate legally in the Philippines, contravening the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). While Binance’s extensive operations necessitate scrutiny, the SEC assures investors adequate time to transition to authorized investment platforms.

Fight vs fraudulent activities

Furthermore, the SEC has collaborated with the NTC to block illicit investment websites and apps, reinforcing efforts to combat fraudulent activities and protect the interests of Filipino investors. Recent actions against OctaFX and MiTrade in February demonstrate the government’s commitment to maintaining a secure investment environment.

In July 2023, SEC Commission Kelvin Lester Lee outlined to AIBC News the agency’s efforts to combat crypto fraud through the establishment of Digital Asset Offering (DAO) and Digital Asset Exchange (DAX) Rules. These rules serve as a proactive measure to mitigate the risks associated with fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes and ensure investor protection within the digital asset space.

Implementation of framework eyed this year

In September, Lee also told Forkast News that the agency intends to implement the crypto framework in the Philippines in the first half of 2024. Lee emphasized the importance of public engagement in shaping the regulatory landscape, urging stakeholders to contribute their perspectives and insights during the comment period. He underscored the agency’s commitment to ensuring that the regulatory framework aligns with the interests and concerns of the public.

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