Philippines SEC To Release Draft Crypto Exchange Regulations This Month

ICO News, News, Regulation | September 4, 2018 By:

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be releasing a draft of new guidelines on crypto exchanges this month.

Speaking to reporters after an en banc meeting, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong said that the agency will put out a draft rule for virtual currency exchanges within the first half of September, and hopes to come out with final rules before the end of this year.

“Virtual currency exchanges (VCEs) have licenses similar to that of money changers. They can exchange from cryptocurrency to fiat currency,” Amatong said. “But many of the VCEs, all of the VCEs are applying to allow them to act as trading platforms.”

The commissioner also said that the SEC will be working with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to regulate crypto exchanges.

“We already discussed the matter with the BSP since the BSP is also interested and we are also interested,” Amatong said. “The discussion … [involves] joint cooperative oversight over VCEs engaged in trading.”

Last month, the SEC published its proposed rules on initial coin offerings (ICO). Under the draft rules, the tokens issued by the startups or companies conducting the ICO may follow the nature of a security under existing Securities Regulation Code, and therefore, these should be registered with the agency and necessary disclosures need to be made for the protection of the investing public. The SEC is expected to publish the final iteration of its ICO rules next week following recent public commentary.

Amatong said the new rules on ICOs aim to promote investor protection and allow small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to have alternative ways to raise capital.

“Part of the promise is technology will allow smaller companies to raise funds in a safe manner,” he said. “Previously, you had to go through all of the infrastructures of the PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange) or PDEx (Philippine Dealing Exchange … in order to raise the funds but what financial technology promises is you can achieve that through technology at a lower cost. So even if you are a small company, you have a way to look for investors without going through the whole process of a security.”