Close on the heels last week’s US$530 million cryptocurrency theft from Tokyo-based Coincheck, neighbouring Philippines has decided to rein in virtual currency trading to protect investors and reduce the risk of fraud.
At a press conference on Monday, the country’s market regulator said that it is working on new rules to regulate transactions, which will cover issuance and registration of cryptocurrencies. The new law is expected to be finalised this year.
“We need to act because initial coin offerings (ICOs) are sprouting especially in 2017. We want to come up with our own set of regulations. You have to be extra careful how investors in this new space are protected,” said Emilio Aquino, Commissioner in charge of enforcement and investor protection at the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission.
The regulation on ICOs will include guidelines on cyber security of cryptocurrency markets, eligibility of issuers including the officials and technology utilized, and financial literacy of investors, as per a Reuters report.
The corporate regulator has yet to approve any public sale of cryptocurrencies and is investigating unlicensed sellers.
“Unfortunately, there have been a lot of cases where ICO promoters vanish into thin air. We don’t want that to happen here,” Aquino said.
Governments across the world have been on an alert as cryptocurrency transactions and ICOs are on the rise. Asian giant China has imposed a ban on ICOs, while its neighbour South Korea is working on plans to ban virtual coin exchanges. India has likened cryptocurrency to ponzi schemes and warned investors of risks.