New trading rules and regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines will soon be released by the nation’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Finalized rules

Over the past few months, media coverage of blockchain developments in the Philippines has been emerging at a steady and positive pace. Most recently, local news outlet The Manila Times reported that the SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong had revealed that the new rules are going to be published “by the end of next week”.

He added that the Virtual Currency Exchange (VCE) rules of Australia and Switzerland were being examined as potential templates for the regulations. Furthermore, the SEC will be partnering with Philippine central bank Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in order to develop and enforce VCE regulations.

Amatong Said, “We see the need to regulate them as trading platforms,” adding, “We already discussed the matter with the BSP since the BSP is also interested and we are also interested. The discussion… [involves] joint cooperative oversight over VCEs engaged in trading.”

Earlier developments

In May, the SEC reached out to its domestic cryptocurrency community seeking counsel and feedback regarding cryptocurrency trading regulations. At this time, Amatong told stakeholders that the government wishes to be proactive in their approach, and desired appropriate rules to be generated from discussion and feedback, saying at the time, “We don’t want to ban anything just because we don’t understand something.”

Earlier this year in April, ten cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain enterprises were licensed to operate in the Cagayan Economic Zone, one of a number of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that have been in place since the 1990’s to promote investment and attract foreign investment; the exchanges from Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea had been officially permitted to enter into crypto mining, initial coin offerings (ICOs) or operate as exchanges.

By July, efforts to introduce blockchain innovation and enterprise on a larger scale were beginning to come to fruition. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority had revealed that it was drafting regulations that allowed for a maximum of 25 cryptocurrency companies to be granted the license to operate in the SEZ.

Also within this SEZ, there are plans to build a blockchain and fintech university on site, which is a display of confidence in the technology on part of the government. Furthermore, it was reported that numerous government-level organizations such as the Department of Finance (DoF) and SEC were beginning to implement blockchain solutions.

Most recently, the SEC released a 37-page draft ICO regulation report after consulting with numerous domestic cryptocurrency companies; this draft will be soon taking its final form and will be telling of the future role of the Philippines in the global blockchain community.


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