Philippine SEC warns against unlicensed crypto exchanges amid FTX collapse

Regulation

After the height of the FTX collapse, the Philippine government has warned investors within the country about using unlicensed crypto exchanges. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines issued an advisory to the public against using unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the country. Within the warning, the SEC did not directly mention the FTX exchange but said that the warning considers “the recent collapse of a large international cryptocurrency exchange.”

Citing the laws within the country, the government agency reiterated that any entity intending to conduct business within the country is required to register with the SEC, writing:

“SEC is the registrar and overseer of the Philippine corporate sector; it supervises more than 600,000 active corporations and evaluates the financial statements (FS) filed by all corporations registered with it.”

According to the SEC, a number of exchanges are targeting Filipino investors via advertisements online and through social media. The government agency also highlighted that the exchanges are currently “unlawfully allowing” Filipinos to access their platforms and enable the creation of accounts online. It wrote that these exchanges “offer different products and schemes which are high-risk and sometimes fraudulent.”

Related: Philippines to explore blockchain use cases, launches training program

On Aug. 4, the SEC singled out the Binance crypto exchange and warned local investors not to use it. According to the SEC, the exchange is not licensed to solicit investments. Despite this, the exchange remained positive that it would be able to penetrate the country.

On Aug. 19, the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank, issued a similar warning to local investors. The BSP urged Phillipene citizens to refrain from using foreign virtual asset service providers that are not registered locally and are based abroad. According to the central bank, it would be difficult to enforce any consumer protection mechanisms and legal recourse when dealing with such businesses.

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