According to the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), regulators are taking steps that could legalize the use of cryptocurrencies in the country by classifying them as securities.
“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,” said SEC representative Emilio Aquino. “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.”
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines’ central bank, can also sees the potential of cryptocurrencies. BSP has already registered two cryptocurrency exchanges and several more are under evaluation. Up to six remittance companies were registered as well. Remittances using cryptocurrencies are cheaper and faster than traditional bank wires and, in some cases, payment platforms like PayPal or Western Union.
“At the BSP, we 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,” said central bank governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.