Philippine Central Bank, Lawmakers And SEC Talk Crypto Regulation

The topic of crypto regulation was discussed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the central bank of the Philippines in a Senate hearing.

The hearing was also attended by a number of executives from the crypto industry, which include those from crypto exchange Binance.

The attendees

Regulators in the Philippines talked about crypto regulations in a Senate Committee hearing on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies with some executives of the crypto industry.

Reports on Wednesday said that Senator Mark Villar had chaired the committee. Others who attended the meeting included the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) was also in attendance. As for the executives from the crypto industry, Leon Foong, the Binance APAC director was present.

Kenneth Stern, the general manager for Binance in the Philippines, and Lito Villanueva, the chairperson of fintech Alliance, were also participating in the discussion.

The industry participants and regulators talked about a number of initiatives that are essential for establishing guidelines and policies for digital assets and fintech.

The discussion

Chuchi Fonacier, BSP’s Deputy Governor, discussed the sandbox approach of the central bank when it comes to crypto regulation.

This includes doing research into the development of policies relating to digital assets. Emilio Aquino, the chairman of the SEC, also talked about the need for actively implementing security measures

These would be implemented against misconduct related to digital assets. One question put forward by Senator Sonny Angara was if cease and desist orders were effective against illicit use of crypto.

The lawmaker highlighted the illegal crypto activities that are currently happening on websites. Stern asserted that they consider the crypto industry to be beneficial for the Filipino people.

He said that the industry promotes financial inclusion via digitalization. As for Binance Philippines’ manager, he said that 78% of the country’s population is unbanked.

However, he added that crypto could be helpful in bringing down this number. He stated that the number of crypto asset holders in the country would exceed that of credit card holders soon.

The global crypto exchange’s representatives also talked about the security and user protection policies that the trading platform has implemented.

They included the digital asset listing process, collaboration with global banking agencies and law enforcement, and the know your customer (KYC) process.

On Wednesday, the chief executive of Binance, Changpeng Zhao said that his country was driving crypto adoption in the Philippines.

Regulatory framework

It was agreed by all participants of the discussion that it is essential to have a proper regulatory framework in place for promoting the growth of the crypto industry.

They also said that user protection can only be ensured through financial literacy. Binance has already entered into partnerships with a few professional groups and local universities.

The goal is to offer free courses on cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, crypto trading, Web3, decentralized finance (DeFi), and the metaverse.

The Philippine central bank had warned the public last week about signing up with foreign crypto service providers.