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SEC Partners with UP Law Center for Joint Research on Crypto, Fintech Regulations

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Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday

  • The SEC-PhiliFintech Innovation Office has announced its partnership with the University of the Philippines Law Center (UPLC) through the University of the Philippines Legal Center Research Program through a memorandum of understanding on January 19.
  • The collaboration claims to conduct joint research and capacity-building projects focusing on cryptocurrency and financial technology regulation.
  • As per Commissioner Kelvin Lee, he is confident that the said partnership will help the regulatory agency to understand the methods of introducing innovative financial technology to the local markets in the country.
  • While UP College of Law Dean Edgardo Vistan commended the SEC’s actions for being able to create more efficient ways of transacting business while still prioritizing the welfare of the investing public without hampering growth.

With cryptocurrencies’ continuous popularity in the country, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PhiliFINNO) announced recently that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on January 19 for a collaboration with the University of the Philippines Law Center (UPLC) through the University of the Philippines Legal Center Research Program. 

The partnership is set to allow the two organizations to conduct joint research and capacity-building projects focusing on cryptocurrency and financial technology (fintech) regulation. According to them, the agreement underlines the country’s digitalization and continuous innovation through regulation.

On Regulating New Technologies

The Commission highlighted that regulating new technologies typically comes with a lot of challenges and risks, adding that this difficulty requires regulators to have a critical understanding of the emerging technologies to anticipate their impact and build a framework that does not stifle them.

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“I am confident that with this collaboration and joint effort, the SEC will gain a better understanding that will enable us to do far more in terms of introducing innovative financial technology into our local markets through different research topics, focus group discussions, and public fora that will be conducted under this project,” SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee wrote in his column.

Research Initiatives

SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino also noted in his message on the MoU signing how the UPLC, especially the Institute of Government and Law Reform, “is the premier agency in research initiatives for various aspects of the law as a basis for law reform by conducting technical research and studies in law. They are a very welcome partner of the SEC in decoding the complexities of this emerging technology called the blockchain.”

“However, we strive to serve the Filipino the best way possible—that is why we are motivated to issue rules addressing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, specifically for the issuance of digital assets and the regulation of digital asset exchanges. We were about to issue these rules, but the crash of several digital asset companies compelled us to revisit them. We just can’t discount the key information that led to their downfall. The research of the UPLC will be vital to the crafting of these regulations and in guiding us for future regulations. We are grateful for this partnership and may this bring a fruitful regulatory ecosystem for the space,” he added.

UP’s Legal Mandate

Accordingly, UP College of Law Dean Edgardo Carlo Vistan, as a signatory to the MoU, mentioned that consistent with its legal mandate, the UPLC is open to collaboration with key government agencies, especially as they navigate new paradigms and tackle complex challenges in these times characterized by accelerated change.

Vistan, who spoke on behalf of UP, the UP College of Law, and the UPLC, also praised the regulatory agency for its efforts in addressing the challenges brought about by new technologies. He commended the SEC’s actions for being able to create more efficient ways of transacting business while still prioritizing the welfare of the investing public without hampering growth. 

In his closing remarks, the head of the UPLC Research Program, Atty. JJ Disini, stressed that the recent events in the fintech space highlight the need for investor protection afforded by the proper supervision of a government agency. 

He expressed hope and optimism towards the project, which he looks forward to helping prevent and pushing the government toward a path that will allow financial technology and space to thrive.

“Having this partnership come to fruition, I would like to send my warmest congratulations to the SEC, under the leadership of Aquino, and through the collaborative efforts of our office and the PhiliFINNO, for the successful signing of this MoU. More importantly, I wish to congratulate and thank the University of the Philippines, UP College of Law, and UPLC for their unwavering support to the SEC,” Disini concluded.

Recent News

The Commission has been actively fighting against fraudsters leveraging on the popularity of crypto among Filipinos. Accordingly, it recently released a draft version of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Law (Republic Act 11765). Once implemented, the Commission can impose stricter penalties on scammers and Ponzi schemes. 

Moreover, the draft will also have “tokenized securities products” to be included under Section 3.1 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the SRC. 

In addition, the SEC also issued a warning on individuals or groups of people pretending to work for financial companies, as there has been “a rise of reports regarding entities that pose as legitimate and reputable financial institutions, scamming the investing public of their hard-earned money.”

For more SEC articles and advisories, click here.

This article is published on BitPinas: SEC Partners with UP Law Center for Joint Research on Crypto, Fintech Regulations

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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