Philippines' SEC Delays Issuance of ICO Regulations

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) has recently delayed the issuance of finalized regulations for initial coin offerings (ICOs), which were expected to come by the end of last year.

According to local news outlet The Philippine Star, no new deadline has been set, but the delay came as “different shareholders” have asked the regulator for more time to study the regulations before they’re finalized.

Currently, a draft of the regulations notes that ICO projects must register with the Philippine SEC at least 45 days before it launches its token pre-sale, and submit an initial assessment request to the regulator, proposing the token sale.

This initial assessment, the news outlet notes, must include various documents, including “police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) records of all members of the company or start-up doing the ICO,” as well as a curriculum vitae, descriptions of the problems the project behind the ICO is set to solve, a whitepaper with offering’s risks, advantages and disadvantages, and bankruptcy records.

The draft elaborates that token issuers “may follow the nature of a security under Section .1 of the Securities Regulation Code.” It reads:

Therefore, these should be registered with the Commission and necessary disclosures need to be made for the protection of the investing public.

The news outlet reached out to PSEC to ask why the country wasn’t banning ICOs in what would be a move similar to that of China and other countries. Emil Aquílinio, the SEC’s chairperson, responded that the technology “has its benefits.”

The Philippines released a draft of their ICO regulations back in August of last year, but haven’t made any widespread actions to regulate the nascent industry so far. As CryptoGlobe covered, authorities in the country have, however, arrested suspects connected to bitcoin scams.

In July of 2018 the Philippine central bank authorized two cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the country, allowing them to convert pesos into virtual currencies. This brought the number of approved exchanges to five at the time. Later on, the PSEC warned crypto cloud mining contracts must be registered as securities.