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Philippines SEC teams up with US counterpart to combat crypto fraud

Philippines SEC teams up with US counterpart to combat crypto fraud

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has partnered with its United States counterpart, along with the Asian Development Bank, to address the issue of criminals utilizing cryptocurrencies for fraudulent activities and other financial crimes.

In a press release dated September 15, the three organizations conducted an International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Investigation and Enforcement Training workshop last month, with the goal of enhancing their collective capabilities in preventing fraud and scams related to cryptocurrencies.

According to Emilio B. Aquino, the Chair of the Philippine SEC, the workshop aimed to enhance the investigative capabilities of SEC Philippines’ enforcement personnel in handling securities-related crimes such as insider trading, market manipulation, off-market fraud, and crypto scams.

Aside from the workshop, the Philippine SEC has also signed the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding on crypto crime. The regulator is also seeking support from local legislators to strengthen its enforcement powers through the creation of new laws that align with IOSCO standards.

This collaboration between the organizations signifies progress for the oversight of digital assets in the Philippines.

The SEC press release on the new multilateral partnership. Source: SEC

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Earlier this year, the Philippines SEC delayed the release of its regulatory framework for crypto assets, which was initially scheduled for late-2022.

According to Aquino, “We haven’t closed the door. We really just have to make sure people don’t get burned.”

Cryptocurrency remains a contentious issue in the Philippines, with the country’s central bank and the local SEC cautioning its citizens against engaging in transactions with foreign crypto exchanges.

In May 2023, the Philippine SEC classified Gemini Derivatives as an unregistered security product under national law.

Despite these challenges, the country continues to be an attractive destination for cryptocurrencies and is considered one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. It boasts more than 11.6 million Filipino digital asset holders, placing it 10th worldwide in terms of crypto adoption.

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