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.

Vietnam to Soon Have a Fully-Authorized Cryptocurrency Exchange

Vietnam is reportedly set to soon have a fully-authorized cryptocurrency exchange, as two firms in the country have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the production of a crypto trading platform, after obtaining a license for it.

According to a recently published press release, the largest distribution company in Vietnam, the Linh Thanh Group, is going to develop the trading platform along with Switzerland-based blockchain firm KRONN Ventures AG.

The move comes after KRONN Ventures formed a consortium with financial committees from various Asian countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Its goal was to “build an international wiring system using blockchain technology that fits with the Asian environment.”

The document notes that an official statement from the Linh Thanh Group has stated that working with KRONN Ventures will see both create “world-class cryptocurrency exchange,” as the latter is “known widely as a leader in blockchain technology in Switzerland.”

It adds:

The industry expectation is that by combining Linh Thanh Group's massive distribution network, which is the largest in Vietnam, with the world-class technology of KRONN Ventures, the impact will be widely felt not only in Vietnam but also in other surrounding Asian countries.

Notably, the Vietnamese government has last year seized the domain of the country’s oldest bitcoin exchange, after it was accused of providing e-commerce services without registering with the government.

The country’s Ministry of Justice has, back in November, suggested several ways cryptoasset could be regulated in the country. At the time Nguyen Thanh Tu, the director of the nation’s Department of Civil and Economic Laws, said authorities carefully examined the pros and cons of regulating cryptocurrencies.

 This, even though the government has been looking to ban bitcoin mining machine imports. The move was, at the time, being justified by the potential use of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities.