The Philippines delays publishing crypto framework

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Despite the wave of market failures in 2022, the Philippines’ financial regulator decided not to rush the legal framework on the crypto industry, earlier planned to be published late last year. However, the work on the guidelines is still going and the results could be made public this year. 

Being cited by the local media outlet, the chairman of the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Emilio Aquino, revealed that previous deadlines for introducing the crypto framework in the country were moved. The regulatory authority was planning to introduce guidelines for the industry in 2022 but held back the initiative to study the reasons behind the collapse of the FTX exchange to ensure the investors’ protection.

However, according to Aquino, the framework still might be issued until the end of 2023:

“We haven’t closed the door. We really just have to make sure people don’t get burned.”

Earlier this year, the SEC partnered with the University of the Philippines Law Center (UPLC) to work on the guidelines for digital assets together. In January 2023, the Commission had in fact put forward for public comment the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11765, signed into law last year. However, the Act itself doesn’t contain a single “crypto” or “blockchain” word. 

Related: Hong Kong’s regulatory lead sets it up to be major crypto hub

The pressure on the industry has been growing last year in the Philippines. The country’s central bank has been urging citizens not to engage in any operations with unregistered or foreign crypto exchanges, the SEC has been making the same claims. In May 2023, the SEC called Gemini Derivatives an unregistered security product under national law.

Still, the country remains a hypothetically attractive destination for crypto. It is considered one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and over 11.6 million Filipinos own digital assets, putting it 10th worldwide in terms of adoption.

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