Philippine Lawmakers, Central Bank, SEC Discuss Crypto Regulation in Senate Hearing

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The central bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines discussed crypto regulation in a Senate hearing with the participation of several executives from the crypto industry, including from crypto exchange Binance.

Philippine Regulators Discuss Crypto Policies

Philippine regulators recently discussed cryptocurrency regulation with some executives from the crypto industry in a Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies hearing, chaired by Senator Mark Villar, the Inquirer reported Wednesday.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) were present. The executives from the crypto industry include Binance APAC Director Leon Foong and the exchange’s general manager for the Philippines, Kenneth Stern. Fintech Alliance’s chairperson, Lito Villanueva, also participated in the discussion.

The regulators and industry participants discussed several initiatives key to establishing policies and guidelines for fintech and digital assets, the publication conveyed. BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier talked about the central bank’s sandbox approach to crypto regulation, including conducting research into the formation of digital asset policies.

SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino emphasized the need to actively enforce security measures against misconduct involving digital assets. Senator Sonny Angara asked if cease and desist orders are enough enforcement against the illicit use of cryptocurrencies. The lawmaker pointed out that illegal crypto activities take place on websites made available globally on the internet.

Stern shared: “We strongly believe that the crypto industry can greatly benefit the Filipino people through addressing the necessity of financial inclusion through digitalization.” The Binance manager for the Philippines added:

78% of Filipinos remain unbanked, but crypto can help decrease that number as crypto asset holders will soon surpass the number of credit card holders in the country.

The representatives from the global crypto exchange also shared the trading platform’s user protection and security policies. They included the know your customer (KYC) process, collaboration with global law enforcement and banking agencies, and the digital asset listing process. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted Wednesday that his company is “pushing crypto adoption” in the Philippines.

Discussion participants agreed that a proper regulatory framework is necessary for the growth of the crypto industry, and providing financial literacy is key to ensuring user protection. Binance has already partnered with some local universities and professional groups to offer free courses in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, web3, crypto trading, the metaverse, and decentralized finance (defi).

Last week, the Philippine central bank warned the public about engaging with foreign crypto service providers. Earlier this month, the regulator said that it will stop accepting crypto license applications for three years.

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