Regulatory Progress: Philippines to Regulate Crypto and License 25 Exchanges
The country of the Philippines was thrust into the global limelight when President Rodrigo Guterte came into power in 2016. The tough, no nonsense former Mayor of Davao City had promised to clean up the country and wasted no time on his war on drugs. The country has once again grabbed the global spotlight by being one of the first to draft cryptocurrency regulations as well as planning to issue licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges.
News coming in from the Philippines indicate that the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) is the government body that has been tasked with drafting rules to safeguard cryptocurrency investors in the country as well as issue the said licenses to a maximum of 25 crypto exchanges. The country, through CEZA, has plans on becoming a fintech hub in not only Asia, but the entire world.
Originally, CEZA had stated it would license only 10 exchanges but the increase in number could be as a result of the government listening to the general popular opinion and sentiments in the country. Initially, the country’s authorities were cracking down on Bitcoin traders as well as mining activities but this stance has since eased with the current news of CEZA drafting crypto regulation.
The CEO and Administrator of CEZA, Raul Lambino is quoted as saying the following when the licenses to be offered were initially only 10:
We are about to license 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange. They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, Koreans. They can go into cryptocurrency mining, initial coin offerings, or they can go into exchange. The exchange of fiat money into virtual currency, and vice versa, should be done offshore to avoid infringing Philippine regulations.
He would later add that:
Each crypto exchange will be required to invest at least USD1 million or around PHP53 million within two years and it must have a back office in the Philippines. Firms must also be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Lambino would later clarify the issuance of licenses in the following statement:
Although CEZA will only issue 25 licenses, each exchange will have 20 to 30 sub-licenses for traders and brokers.
Philippines joins a list of countries that are slowly but surely embracing crypto regulation. They include Thailand, Malta, Indonesia, South Korea, the UAE and the American SEC which has so far only given direction with regards to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Once the global regulatory hurdles are complete, crypto investors can relax and enjoy what they love doing: trading and investing in ICOs.