The Philippines’ primary securities regulator has confirmed work toward crafting regulations for cryptocurrency transactions and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in order to reduce fraud risks and protect investors.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Emilio Aquino said the authority will outline regulations that will cover the issuance and registration of cryptocurrencies will be finalized this year. The regulations are currently at a “drafting stage”, Aquino said.
In quotes reported by Reuters, the SEC official added:
“We need to act because initial coin offerings (ICOs) are sprouting especially in 2017. We want to come up with our own set of regulations. You have to be extra careful how investors in this new space are protected.”
Specifically, the regulation will introduce guidelines on the cybersecurity posture of cryptocurrency markets, the eligibility of ICO issuers accounting for the technology used and the operators behind it, as well as the financial literacy of investors, Aquino revealed.
Most of all, the SEC chief insists that the regulatory move is to ensure investor safety while curbing fraud. “Unfortunately, there have been a lot of cases where ICO promoters vanish into thin air,” Aquino added. “We don’t want that to happen here.” As things stand, the securities regulator is yet to grant license or approval to an ICO operator and is reportedly investigating unverified, unlicensed sellers currently. As reported by the Nikkei, issued a cease-and-desist order against an ICO last week after its operators announced their offering without the regulator’s approval.
“The mindset of the commission has always been to foster innovation, but they need to register,” Aquino said in the news conference, stressing that the regulator was taking an accommodating approach to the cryptocurrency sector.
As reported previously, the SEC is also working in conjunction with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to draft rules on cryptocurrency investments that might also include the regulation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
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