Philippines Bitcoin boom: Why regulators are looking down under

Government officials in the Philippines are analysing Australia’s cryptocurrency trading regulations as Philippines Bitcoin trading volumes hit all-time highs.

The Philippines SEC and Central Bank are currently working to formulate a set of cryptocurrency trading regulations.

In quotes reported by The Manila Times, SEC commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong said the Philippines could model its new standards on Australia’s current regulations.

“Virtual currency exchange rules of Australia and Switzerland are being reviewed as possible templates,” said the commissioner in a press conference on Thursday.

There are only 5 crypto exchanges currently approved by Philippines financial regulators.

The exchanges allowed to operate under the guise of ‘remittance and transfer’ platforms.

Commissioner Amatong said the Philippines Government has now recognised the need to set new rules and allow the exchanges to operate as full-scale ‘trading platforms’.

It’s understood there are 29 applications for crypto exchanges currently being assessed by the Philippines SEC and Central Bank.

“We see the need to regulate them as trading platforms, given the SEC’s mandate to protect the investing public,” Mr Amatong said.

Philippines Bitcoin
Philippines Central Bank

The push for new trading regulations comes as the Philippines SEC prepares to finalise new ICO and crowdfunding rules.

Draft rules were released last month which included requirements for ICO’s to register as a corporation and setup headquarters in the Philippines.

Any proposed ICO will also have to undergo a formal government assessment before launching.

Philippines Bitcoin boom

In the Philippines, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity.

While exchange volumes in most countries have fallen over the past few months, it’s a different story in the Southeast Asian nation of 103 million people.

In the week of 11/8/2018 data by shows trading volume of more than 35 million Philippine Piso (AU$910,000) – the highest ever recorded.

Philippines Bitcoin
Data by shows weekly Bitcoin trading volumes in the Philippines hitting record highs.

The Philippines Government became one of the first jurisdictions to officially recognise Bitcoin as money, in February 2017.

The Government has since offered tax perks to crypto and blockchain businesses operating in the country’s Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.

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