SEC Takes Its Time: Are Crypto Investors Paying the Price?

SEC Takes Its Time: Are Crypto Investors Paying the Price?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines has postponed the release of its framework for the issuance of digital assets in the country. This delay comes as a result of the lessons learned from the collapse of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Bahamas, in late 2022. The SEC aims to incorporate additional safeguards into the framework to protect investors and prevent similar incidents from occurring. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the delay, the importance of regulatory frameworks for digital assets, and the SEC's commitment to investor protection.

Understanding the Reasons for Delay

SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino stated that while the agency was initially prepared to issue the guidelines last year, the collapse of FTX prompted a thorough review of the proposed framework. The liquidity crisis faced by FTX, primarily due to its token, FTT, led to its bankruptcy. Aquino emphasized the need to study the reasons behind the collapse to ensure that the framework includes adequate safeguards against such incidents. The SEC aims to protect investors from potential losses and maintain market stability.

The Role of Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Assets

Regulatory frameworks play a vital role in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. They establish clear guidelines and standards for businesses and individuals operating in the digital asset space, fostering investor confidence and protecting against fraudulent activities. By delaying the issuance of the framework, the SEC demonstrates its commitment to creating a comprehensive and effective regulatory environment for digital assets in the Philippines.

Governance of Digital Asset Exchanges

One key aspect of the upcoming framework will be the regulation of digital asset exchanges. Currently, the SEC relies on laws and regulations designed for traditional securities, which may not adequately address the unique characteristics and risks associated with digital assets. By developing specific rules for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the SEC aims to enhance market integrity, transparency, and investor protection within the digital asset exchange ecosystem.

The SEC's Belief in Technology

Despite the delay, Aquino reassured the public that the SEC remains supportive of digital technology and its potential to revolutionize various industries. He acknowledged the importance of establishing a framework that balances innovation with investor protection. The SEC recognizes the transformative power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology and aims to create an enabling environment that fosters growth while minimizing risks.

Partnership with the University of the Philippines Law Center

To strengthen the regulation of financial technology (fintech) in the country, the SEC collaborated with the University of the Philippines Law Center (UPLC). This partnership aims to enhance the SEC's understanding of the evolving regulatory landscape surrounding fintech and develop new policies applicable to the Philippines. The UPLC will assist in the creation of a legal and regulatory framework, initially focusing on cryptocurrencies and subsequently expanding to other fintech products and their corresponding regulations. This collaboration demonstrates the SEC's commitment to staying informed and adapting to emerging technologies.

Strengthening Investor Protection

The primary objective of the delayed framework for digital assets is to ensure that investors are adequately protected. By incorporating global standards on investor protection, market integrity, and transparency, the SEC aims to foster a secure and trustworthy digital asset ecosystem in the Philippines. The framework will provide clarity to investors, businesses, and regulators, promoting responsible participation in the digital asset market and mitigating potential risks.


The SEC's decision to delay the issuance of its framework for digital assets in the Philippines demonstrates its commitment to learning from past incidents and enhancing investor protection. The agency acknowledges the potential of digital technology and aims to strike a balance between innovation and regulation. By partnering with the University of the Philippines Law Center, the SEC seeks to develop comprehensive policies that address the evolving fintech landscape. Ultimately, the delayed framework will provide a robust regulatory environment for digital assets, fostering investor confidence, market integrity, and transparency in the Philippines.

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