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BSP: Axie Infinity’s OPS Status Still Under Review

Governor Diokno says the review is still ongoing regarding the use of NFTs as well as the monitoring of the various online gaming platforms.

Photo for the Article - BSP: Axie Infinity’s OPS Status Still Under Review

By Shiela Bertillo

(Please check the Tagalog translation here: BSP: Ang OPS Status ng Axie Infinity ay Kasalukuyan Pang Pinagaaralan

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stated that they are still studying Axie Infinity, a popular play-to-earn non fungible token (NFT) game, and its possible status as an operator of payment system (OPS) which would require the game and its developers to register with the central bank.

Ongoing Review

According to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, the review is still ongoing regarding the use of NFTs as well as the monitoring of the various online gaming platforms. 

“The BSP continues to conduct surveillance activities and assess the material (and) prudential implications of the rising use of Axie Infinity and non-fungible tokens,” BSP Governor Diokno said in a virtual press briefing.

Since August, the BSP has been “closely monitoring” Axie Infinity and how its players use and exchange the game’s cryptocurrency asset known as Smooth Love Potion (SLP) as a form of payment.  (Read more: BSP Closely Monitors Local Axie Infinity SLP Merchants System)

OPS Status

Accordingly, if Axie Infinity is finally identified as an OPS, it will be required to register as one with the BSP. OPS are entities that provide cash-in service, bills payment service, and other conveniences such as a payment gateway, platform provider, payment facilitator, and merchant acquirer that allows merchants to accept payments, in cash or digital form.

“The BSP will also work closely with other regulators under the Financial Sector Forum (FSF) to strengthen cooperative oversight of fintech innovation and to continue to craft adequate regulations covering virtual assets and virtual asset service providers or VASPs (virtual asset service providers),” said Diokno. 

What is Financial Sector Forum?

The FSF is a voluntary inter-regulator coordination body composed of the BSP, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Insurance Commission.

These regulators are currently probing gaming applications and other social media platforms for its use of financial technology firms (fintechs) as they may be required to obtain the necessary authority to conduct fintech-related services. 

The BSP assured that regulating fintech will be “effectively managed without stifling innovation.”

Moreover, despite the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Department of Finance (DOF) priorly eyeing the game for tax, the BSP and SEC already stated last September that Axie Infinity is not yet required to register with them, but the regulating agencies reiterated that they are still monitoring the game. (Read more: BSP, SEC: Axie Infinity Aren’t Required to Register Yet)

Source: Manila Bulletin

This article is published on BitPinas: BSP: Axie Infinity’s OPS Status Still Under Review

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