Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoins To Be Considered As Securities in Philippines
With Bitcoin making waves round the globe, regulators are slowly understanding its significance in shaping a better future. This has propelled the financial authorities of various countries to embrace crypto regulation to carry on such digital dealings without having to suffer from the pangs of negativity associated with it such as fraud and money laundering.
A principal regulator of Philippines recently announced that, “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.”
Emilio Aquino, the Pilipino Commissioner of Securities and Exchange Commission stated on 21st November that Bitcoins need to impart the legal tag of being a security for propelling easy functioning of financial dealings. Such an announcement comes in the aftermath of much monitoring and consideration taken up by the concerned authority in collaboration with the country’s central bank.
With Japan taking up a pro-Bitcoin stance a few weeks back, comparisons are bound to follow. Calata Corp. an agricultural firm has recently taken up the ICO route for fundraising after being stripped off from the stock exchange platform given its improprieties. They are hoping to raise money by issuing Calcoins. The Pilipino regulators are well aware of the massive fund flow of 4 billion USD secured by the ICO vehicle in the current fiscal. Aquino spoke out in this context saying that:
“This initial coin offering — depending on, as said, the facts and circumstances in which the offering is made especially in raising capital — may be considered as securities, in which case they cannot just be offered without registering with SEC.”
Registering Bitcoin as securities do slow down its innovative spirit but are any day favoured to a complete ban. Cryptocurrencies have been monitored by the PhSEC for quite some time now. The Commissioner added that, “We have seen particularly in the social media sites that there are offers of initial coin offerings, most popular of which, of course [are] bitcoins and ethereum … but [there are] new ones which may be considered as securities. That’s the direction we’re taking, basing on the present regulations passed by the US SEC, our other counterparts in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.”
The Securities Exchange commissioner outlined the conversations held with the central bank. He said that,
“There are at least five or six companies which have already been registered and endorsed by the BSP but these are limited [only] to money services businesses to address remittances being done by OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to bring down the cost.”
Nestor Espenilla Jr, the governor of BSP suggested that they “have an open-minded approach to fintech (financial technology). This means that we take a very active role in ensuring that our policies provide opportunities for innovation. Today, there are two virtual currency exchangers registered with the BSP and several more are under evaluation.”
The Central Bank of Philippines had issued regulations pertaining to anti-money laundering at the beginning of this year. The central banker emphasized upon Bitcoin saying that, “
It’s very simple, what they are allowed to do is to exchange a cryptocurrency or bitcoin into peso equivalent. It’s just moving from normal money to cryptocurrency.”
The Manila Times Online had published a report in August quoting the bank head as saying,
“The central bank was now regulating the operations of two bitcoin exchanges, which he described as ‘local-based’ with ‘international roots.’”
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