Reports out today highlight that authorities in the Philippines are set to issue new licenses to a number of cryptocurrency exchanges in an attempt to apply some form of regulation to the country. Within this, Filipino authorities will follow in the footsteps of Japan, a country with a notorious stance on cryptocurrency exchange regulation that really is spearheading a new international movement.
According to CCN, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), based within the Northern part of the Philippines are going to issue licenses to 25 cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to increase trading within it’s ‘tax friendly’ zone. According to CCN:
“The move to license – effectively legalize – crypto exchanges will follow a strict integrity check, coinciding with wider regulations for the cryptocurrency sector. Each cryptocurrency exchange will be required to invest at least $1 million within two years of operations in the zone as well a physical presence via an office in the zone.”
Moreover, according to Raul Lambino, the CEO of CEZA has said:
“We do not want the Philippines to be a haven for scammers even if these scams are happening abroad,” the CEZA chief was quoted as stating by a government-owned newswire. “That’s why through our probity and integrity check we can determine if their transactions are just designed to entice unsuspecting people to invest in Bitcoin or whatever crypto coin that is a fraud.”
See more for yourself, here- https://www.ccn.com/philippines-to-issue-25-cryptocurrency-exchange-licenses-in-economic-zone/
Furthermore, according to an official statement made by CEZA, Lambino said:
“If they have ICO (initial coin offering) we will have to find if their ICO is asset-backed because this what we are saying that there are many scammers. If they offer in the market their initial (digital) coin, they may be able to convince 50 unsuspecting investors and promise them the sun and the moon. This is the Ponzi scheme. We are not going to allow it.”
See the full CEZA announcement here- http://ceza.gov.ph/ceza-to-limit-issuance-of-licenses-for-cryptocurrency-exchanges/
With all of this in mind, it is very clear that CEZA want to foster a booming cryptocurrency industry, but, they do clearly intend to ensure that their regulations are adhered to very strictly. This is a stance that more and more central banks and financial authorities are beginning to take. Clearly, this is down to the fact that cryptocurrencies are becoming more mainstream and thus, authorities are recognising a need to accept them, in a manner through which they are able to exercise control. The best way to do this? Clamp down on the exchanges, that way, trading is manageable before it even reaches the customers.
With these new licenses, CEZA are opening up new opportunities for citizens within the Philippines which in turn, may very well charge the crypto-sphere for the rest of South Asia.