By Shiela Bertillo
In the question and answer part of the Bangko Sentral ng PIlipinas’ (BSP) learning session, Cryptocurrency 101, Melchor Plabasan, the director of Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department, nodded when an attendee asked if the central bank has cryptocurrency specialists in their team. The virtual conference was part of the BSP FinEd Expo 2021.
Salve Duplito, financial journalist and moderator of the event, hinted that BSP has dozens to hundreds of specialists.
Plabasan seconded Duplito’s statement and emphasized its significance with their regulation as well as for the investing public.
“That’s the advantage of dealing with BSP registered VASPs (Virtual Assets Services Provider) because they are subject to regular inspection (and) continuing off-site supervision. They are required to submit periodic reports about their activities and of course we also check their consumer protection framework (and) cyber security standards,” he stated.
Plabasan also assured the public that the BSP is “closely monitoring these supervised VASPs.”
Moreover, Nichel Gaba, Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) CEO, also guaranteed the regulator’s statements as a company under the central bank’s supervision.
“We’ve been operating for a couple of years and on a regular basis, we are subject to audits by the team of Director Mhel (Plabasan); and I think their time has grown from a handful of people to maybe more than a hundred people. So they are definitely well staffed and they know the space. They know what they’re doing and they ask the right questions,” Gaba assured.
In regards to the team’s capabilities, Plabasan ensures that they have ethical hackers, data scientists and trained specialists.
“Kumpleto po kami (we are complete) and we keep on hiring good people on our command,” he added.
On the other hand, Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee admitted that they are not as well staffed as the BSP but they are “working in that direction.” However, he highlighted the SEC’s newly established PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PIO) which aims to focus on the regulation of the use of fintech in the Philippines.
“We do have specialists that focus on crypto and fintech, but we are clearly not as well staffed as Sir Mhel (BSP),” the commissioner said.
This article is published on BitPinas: BSP Says They Have Crypto Specialists