The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated they are contemplating measures to legalize cryptocurrencies in the nation by classifying them as securities.

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“The direction is for us to consider this so-called virtual currencies offerings as possible securities in which case we will apply the Securities Regulation Code,” said SEC Commissioner, Emilio Aquino.

“The heightened frenzy and increasing popularity surrounding initial coin offerings has pushed authorities to lay down new rules to protect consumers.”

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The commissioner also mentioned the agency is going to base regulations on the current ones executed in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United States.

The central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will oversee all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, according to Aquino, adding that BSP has previously backed five or six firms that will function as cryptocurrency exchanges.

BSP Governor, Nestor Espenilla Jr., has stated that bank has an “open-minded approach” regarding the technology.

“If you want something that is fast, near real-time and convenient, then there’s the benefit of using virtual currencies like Bitcoin,” said BSP deputy director, Melchor Plabasan.

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