In what comes as a huge backing for cryptocurrency supporters, Philippines is all set to legalize the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a security. Before getting it into the mainstream business, the country is looking to regulate and legalize the new form of currency in consultation with the central bank. The commissioner of Securities and Exchange Commission (PhSEC) Emilio Aquino hinted on November 21 that the country is looking to regulate the cryptocurrency and the plans are on the way to be implemented. He says, “The direction is for us to consider this so-called virtual currencies offering as possible securities in which case we will apply the Securities Regulation Code.”
Even Philippines seems to have been swayed by the new craze for cryptocurrency and it follows the steps of Japan, a country that has endorsed Bitcoin with far more enthusiasm. Also, the concept of Initial Coin Offering is gathering huge momentum with many businesses offering Bitcoin and Ethereum for its fundraising initiative through Initial Coin Offering. These forms of cryptocurrency are now looked upon as a security that holds real value like petrol, gold and other such valuables that are traded in the market. It is to be noted that many exchanges have already announced plans to list cyrptocurrency in the exchanges.
Commissioner Aquino also put-forth the reason behind the regulation process:
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.
The government is joining hands with central bank Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in order to bring out the policy which would regulate the operation of cryptocurrency in the country. Supporting this, BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr. came out with the statement 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.”