Despite the wave of market failures in 2022, the Philippines’ financial regulator has decided not to rush a legal framework on the crypto industry, initially planned to be published in late 2022. However, work on the guidelines is ongoing, and the results could be made public this year.
Cited in a 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 it held back the initiative to study the reasons behind the collapse of the FTX exchange and ensure investors’ protection.
However, according to Aquino, the framework might still be issued by the end of 2023:
“We haven’t closed the door. We really just have to make sure people don’t get burned.”
Earlier in 2023, the SEC partnered with the University of the Philippines Law Center (UPLC) to work together on guidelines for digital assets. In January 2023, the regulator put forward the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11765 for public comment, which was signed into law in 2022. However, the act itself doesn’t contain a single reference to “crypto” or “blockchain.”
There has been growing pressure on the crypto industry in the Philippines. The country’s central bank has been urging citizens not to engage in any operations with unregistered or foreign crypto exchanges, and the SEC has made the same recommendations. In May 2023, the SEC called Gemini Derivatives an unregistered security product under national law.
Still, the country remains an attractive destination for crypto. It is considered one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with over 11.6 million Filipinos owning digital assets, putting it 10th worldwide in crypto adoption.