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Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Wants to Facilitate Bitcoin Trading As Soon As Regulation Opens Up

National exchange of the Philippines The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) plans to enable crypto trading on its platform. To do this, the exchange needs approval from regulators.

PSE Best For Crypto Trades

Speaking to CNN Philippines, PSE CEO and President Ramon Monzon said that the exchange would be a suitable platform for crypto trading due to its unique trading infrastructure and investor protection safeguards.

Monzon believes that the structured trading of crypto in the Philippines should be on the PSE platform. According to him, cryptos are an asset class the Philippines cannot ignore anymore, given growing interest.

“If there should be any exchange for cryptos, it should be done at the PSE. Why? Number one, it’s because we have the trading infrastructure. But more importantly, we’ll be able to have investor protection safeguards especially with a product like crypto.”

Monzon said the idea surfaced during a top management meeting two weeks ago. He added that PSE is currently awaiting guidelines from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alongside other regulators.

The SEC began seeking public comments from banks, investors, and others in 2019 to ascertain whether the country needs a domestic crypto exchange. The same year, the regulator announced intentions to issue guidelines for crypto exchanges.

In 2020, SEC chairman Emilio Aquino said the agency has set draft rules in place after receiving comments and is looking to finalize them. However, there are no concrete rules in place yet.

Philippines’ Attitude Towards Crypto

Unlike some countries, the Philippine government has been relatively friendly towards cryptocurrencies.

Although the Philippine Central Bank has been outspoken about its crypto rules as it aims to curtail money laundering, it has approved several crypto exchanges.

Some of the firms approved last year include Bitan Moneytech, Rebittance Virtual Currency Philippines, and Bexpress.

In January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), or the central bank of the Philippines, published new guidelines for the virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in the country. The bank imposed new restrictions and directed the firms to have licenses before operating.

BSP requires exchanges to register as remittance and transfer companies while putting anti-money laundering and consumer protection mechanisms in place.

While the country’s government seems invested in cryptocurrency, it is not making the same effort for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) program. Last year, the BSP said they were not considering the development or issuance of a CBDC any time soon. According to a report by CNN Philippines, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said work needs to be done before a digital Peso can be issued.