SEC Further Comments on ICOs and the Application of Securities Regulation Code
Many Filipinos are participating in Initial Coin Offerings, a way for many projects to raise capital by exchanging digital tokens for money. But as this new form of fund-raising becomes popular, the Philippines begins studying how ICOs can be regulated. (Read More: What are ICOs?)
The Security and Exchange Commission Steps in
We reported a while back how the SEC wants to treat cryptocurrency as a form of securities. If that happens, the government can apply the PH Securities Regulation Code. If you are in the Philippines, you cannot launch an ICO without registering with the SEC if the law is applied.
Today, we have further comments from the SEC via a report from Bloomberg.
The Security and Exchange Commission is cautious of Initial Coin Offerings. Commissioner Ephyro Amatong said:
The SEC is concerned about possible unlicensed investment-taking activity or otherwise selling of investment contracts in the guise of so-called cryptocurrencies via a so-called initial coin offering
He used the term unlicensed because unlike Initial Public Offerings, ICOs don’t go to the same screening as companies issuing IPOs in the stock market.
The SEC and BSP
The Security and Exchange Commission and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are at the forefront in studying how cryptocurrency is treated in the country. The SEC’s application of the law for ICOs came after a delisted agricultural firm unveiled plans to move out of the Stock Exchange and launch its own cryptocurrency.
The BSP, on the other hand, is holding several discussions with other Central Banks in the world to plan how to proceed with cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Last time, we knew that the BSP was in talks with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to promote cross-cultural sharing of fintech in both countries. Companies engaged in using technology to aid banking and financial services (such as Coins.ph and BuyBitcoin.ph) are classified as fintech.
It is interesting as to how the SEC will do this. After an IPO, a company’s stock will then be traded in the PH stock market just like any other stock. ICOs are a bit different. The company may choose to launch or may choose not to launch their coins on other exchanges. Others may choose to do another ICO, or do ICO in phases. Others, sadly, will disappear, leaving the investor with worthless coins. So how will the government enforce the Securities Regulation Code? We all hope to find out soon.