[Newsletter] CryptoPH Wrap-Up – How Will the Infrawatch vs Binance Story End?

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Two weeks into the new Marcos administration, our publication is taking this moment to introduce to the readers the key decision-makers who will be responsible for crypto regulation in the next six years.

The New BSP Governor

The new governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is Felipe Medalla. He has been in the BSP for a long time and from his statements, it appears he would be continuing the programs of former governor Benjamin Diokno. The BSP wants to increase the digitalization of transactions, first and foremost rapidly. 

But it looks like Medalla is not a fan of crypto, dismissing its users as only investing in it in hopes that a greater fool will buy it from them. He is also not keen on approving more digital banks; he said it will be 2 to 3 years until they may start to approve one since the BSP “still needs to improve its capacity to regulate these kinds of lenders,” the report said

Under Diokno, the number of license virtual currency exchanges approved by the BSP in the Philippines increased to 19. He also targeted a Q4 2022 pilot test of CBDCs. These are two things we think will continue under Medalla.

The New Secretary of the Department of Finance

Diokno is, by the way, now the Secretary of Finance (though not yet confirmed by the Commission on Appointments). Our article deep-dived into what he did for the crypto and blockchain industry during his time as governor, as well as during his term as Budget Secretary.

Infrawatch vs Binance

This leads us to our biggest news last week – think tank group Infrawatch PH, after sending a letter to the BSP to ban Binance because of illegal operations, has also sent a letter to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for illegal promotions. Infrawatch argues that the global crypto exchange is doing large-scale promotions to Filipinos without securing the necessary DTI permits (Remember when you see promotions on TV and on some webcasts, whenever there is a promo where the is a chance to win, there is always a final reminder saying “per DTI NCR permit no…” This is exactly it.)

The news was picked up by Cointelegraph, who asked Binance for a response (which they received), and the exchange representative said they are actively trying to secure a license here.

I don’t think this story is finished. Binance wants to have a license in the Philippines. As one crypto thought leader said, it’s win-win for us because finally, Filipinos’ bank accounts will not be unceremoniously closed just because they transacted with the unlicensed global exchange (hi BDO!).

Will the story end with the global exchange ultimately securing the licenses it wants to have in the Philippines, or will the regulators recognize the points brought forward by Infrawatch? 

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This newsletter is published on BitPinas: [Newsletter] CryptoPH Wrap-Up – How Will the Infrawatch vs Binance Story End?

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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