Philippines to allow Bitcoin & Co, classified as securities

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The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it is considering legalising the use of digital currencies in the country by classifying them as securities, and also increasing the number of exchanges. The move comes following the financial regulator’s issuance of regulations for the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin earlier in 2017.

“The direction is for us to consider this so-called virtual currencies offerings as possible securities in which case we will apply the Securities Regulation Code,” SEC commissioner Emilio Aquino said in a news conference in Manila on November 21.

“These initial coin offerings — depending on the facts and circumstances in which the offering is made, especially for raising capital — may be considered as securities, in which case they cannot just be offered without registering with SEC. The heightened frenzy and increasing popularity surrounding initial coin offerings has pushed authorities to lay down new rules to protect consumers,” he added.

The commissioner also stated that the agency is basing its directives on existing regulations that are implemented by its counterparts in the USA, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Consumer protection would also be needed for cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly such that are becoming increasingly popular among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for cash remittances.

“There are at least five or six companies which have already been registered and endorsed by the central bank, but these are limited to money services businesses to address remittances being done by OFWs to bring down the cost,” Aquino said, adding that the number of such exchanges should rise to provide low-cost and fast remittance channels for OFWs.

Meanwhile, Philippine central deputy director Melchor Plabasan – unlike many other central bank officials across the world – stated that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies were both monetary and investment instruments that were very viable and whose risks are manageable.

“If you want something that is fast, near real-time and convenient, then there’s the benefit of using virtual currencies like Bitcoin,” he said.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it is considering legalising the use of digital currencies in the country by classifying them as securities, and also increasing the number of exchanges. The move comes following the financial regulator’s issuance of regulations for the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin earlier in 2017.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it is considering legalising the use of digital currencies in the country by classifying them as securities, and also increasing the number of exchanges. The move comes following the financial regulator’s issuance of regulations for the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin earlier in 2017.

“The direction is for us to consider this so-called virtual currencies offerings as possible securities in which case we will apply the Securities Regulation Code,” SEC commissioner Emilio Aquino said in a news conference in Manila on November 21.

“These initial coin offerings — depending on the facts and circumstances in which the offering is made, especially for raising capital — may be considered as securities, in which case they cannot just be offered without registering with SEC. The heightened frenzy and increasing popularity surrounding initial coin offerings has pushed authorities to lay down new rules to protect consumers,” he added.

The commissioner also stated that the agency is basing its directives on existing regulations that are implemented by its counterparts in the USA, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Consumer protection would also be needed for cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly such that are becoming increasingly popular among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for cash remittances.

“There are at least five or six companies which have already been registered and endorsed by the central bank, but these are limited to money services businesses to address remittances being done by OFWs to bring down the cost,” Aquino said, adding that the number of such exchanges should rise to provide low-cost and fast remittance channels for OFWs.

Meanwhile, Philippine central deputy director Melchor Plabasan – unlike many other central bank officials across the world – stated that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies were both monetary and investment instruments that were very viable and whose risks are manageable.

“If you want something that is fast, near real-time and convenient, then there’s the benefit of using virtual currencies like Bitcoin,” he said.

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