Regulations for Crypto in the Philippines Coming Soon
Securities and Exchange Commission in Philippines, the country’s monetary regulator, has decided to formulate regulations for its cryptocurrency market. They’re on track to be completed sometime this year. According to Emilio Equino, SEC commissioner, there’s a good reason to take action at this time, particularly due to the overwhelming number of ICOs that have been coming out. He asserts that there’s a need for his country to draft its own regulations, and that “You have to be extra careful how investors in this new space are protected”.
Although Joseph Calata, a prominent Filipino businessman, was issued a cease and desist order as he attempted to sell “the world’s first agriculture marketplace crypto equity ICO”, the regulatory authorities in the Philippines will not be taking a hardline stand on ICOs. Mr. Equino acknowledged that coin offerings have extreme price fluctuations and there’s often a chance of fraud. However, he also feels that they can offer sound investment opportunities.
Philippines Won’t Ban Cryptocurrencies
Unlike other countries such as China, the Filipino SEC commissioner says that his country does not want to ban cryptocurrencies. The commissioner realizes that regulatory authorities across the globe are trying hard to come up with suitable regulations for cryptos, especially those pertaining to ICOs. He is also aware that currently, only New York might have proper regulations for ICOs, and that around 2000 of them have been launched so far. Given this scenario, Mr. Equino again stresses that “We have to be extra careful and have really hands-on involvement especially at this stage”.
Mr. Equino admits that his organization doesn’t know quite how to handle ICOs and cryptos at the moment. However, he thinks that gradually they should be able to figure it out. Even though Filipino authorities might not know how to respond to their crypto market yet, cryptocurrency transfers have been rising in popularity in the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines is one of the world’s largest markets when it comes to international money transfers. This is because a large number of Filipino workers go abroad to oil-rich countries like Kuwait for more lucrative employment opportunities. Filipino culture places a lot of importance in supporting your family, so these expat workers send a lot of their earnings back home.
Millions of Dollars in Crypto Transferred
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which is said to have a friendly attitude towards cryptocurrencies, reported that there was approximately $8.8 million worth of crypto transactions each month during the first half of 2017. Notably, this amount increased to $6 million per day in October. All this is happening despite the country not even having proper regulations for crypto. The only type of licensing that can be found are local crypto exchanges who identify as remittance companies.
It might not be advisable for the country to keep going on like this. Therefore, the country’s regulators propose that the new ICO regulations will offer guidelines regarding the online security of the country’s crypto-market. Additionally, these guidelines will require that crypto investors be well informed regarding their investment decisions, and be used to determine the eligibility of the people involved in the crypto business.
The Philippines could benefit from a proper legal framework for its cryptocurrency market. However, regulations should not be designed in a way that could potentially hinder the healthy growth of cryptos and the technology behind them. If regulators can keep this in their mind, then new crypto guidelines could be beneficial for everyone involved.