Philippines’ Securities Regulator Plans Crypto Framework For 2024

The Philippines’ securities regulator will unveil a regulatory framework for crypto assets and trading by the latter half of 2024. SEC Chair Emilio Aquino announced these plans last week, as reported by Business World Online on Monday.

The upcoming crypto guidelines aim to regulate trading within the Philippines, prioritizing investor protection. This announcement aligns with the SEC’s recent efforts to tighten control over unregistered platforms.

Last month, the SEC actively pursued removing Binance-linked applications from Apple and Google app stores in the Philippines. “The SEC identified Binance and concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos,” Aquino said in letters to the companies.

Removing Illegal Crypto Apps

Aquino warned that selling unregistered securities and acting as an unlicensed broker in the Philippines violates Republic Act No. 8799 or The Securities Regulation Code. The crackdown on Binance aims to stop unauthorized operations in the country.

He mentioned that tech giants usually act swiftly on requests to block apps. “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 said.

VPNs Remain A Challenge

The regulator emphasized the importance of proper licensing and registration for trading platforms, as mandated by Republic Act No. 8799, before offering securities trading.

He acknowledged the ongoing challenge of users accessing unregistered platforms through virtual private networks (VPNs). While the SEC can’t completely prevent this, Aquino said: “They still can. But nobody gets to blame us. Others might say that we didn’t do anything to stop these apps.”

Aquino added that the Philippines SEC is learning from the collapse of Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX in Nov. 2022, where many Americans were “burned.”

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