TOP > News > SEC Reiterates: ICOs Must Be Registered
July 30, 2018 Updated

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission reiterates that companies must register their ICOs if they are offering securities to investors.

In a media briefing, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission reiterates that while the agency’s mindset is to foster innovation, all Initial Coin Offerings (ICO must still be registered.

Open to Innovation

SEC Commissioner Emilio Aquino went on to point out that many Filipinos want to invest in cryptocurrency. As such, it is the obligation of the government to protect the public, especially in those instances where businesses that launch the ICO just vanish in thin air.

SEC treats ICOs like how it treats Initial Public Offerings. Investors put their money and expect to get profits from the investment. By that definition, then tokens from ICOs are securities. If they are securities, then companies issuing ICOs must follow the country’s Securities Regulation Code (SRC), which highlights that anyone offering securities must first register with the SEC.


The statement from SEC comes after Calata-led Krops said it will continue its ICO despite the agency’s warning.

Earlier this month, the government agency issued a cease and desist order against Krops. The ICO, led by Mr. Joseph Calata has failed to register its offering to the Securities and Exchange Commision, and is, therefore, in violation of the country’s Securities Regulation Code.

Mr. Calata argued that his company Black Cell Technology, which is behind the Krops ICO, is registered in Hong Kong and not in the Philippines. However, the law is clear that securities must be registered if you are issuing it in the Philippines.

Mr. Calata said they will push for the ICO. Commissioner Aquino said Mr. Calata may file a motion to lift the Cease and Desist order.

The Philippines is Allowing ICO

Mr. Aquino further stated that unlike other countries, China and South Korea in particular, the Philippines is allowing ICOs. Only that they must be registered.

Thanks to the Philippine Star for the media briefing report.

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