Philippine SEC defers issuance of ICO rules, seeks more comments

MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) here extended the comment period for the proposed rules on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in a notice published last September 13. The regulator earlier issued the proposed rules last August 2 and set the deadline for the public to give their comments on August 30.

Several news reports have earlier stated that the final version of those rules is expected to be released this month.

Based on the draft, all tokens are notably assumed as security tokens covered by securities laws and are thus required to be registered with the SEC. The SEC argued that most ICOs that have been conducted in the Philippines are securities.

In the August 2 draft, proposed ICOs in the Philippines should apply for an initial assessment to determine whether such an issuance is a security. After the initial assessment, the ICO proponent should proceed with a lengthy registration process.

Some of the documents to be reviewed in the initial assessment and the registration process include the details of the project team, legal opinion, whitepaper, relevant licenses, curriculum vitae of the team members and advisors, escrow agreement with an independent escrow agent, corporate income tax returns, and proof of team members’ financial capacity.

Interested parties who wish to submit their comments on the proposed rules may email their comments to mrd@sec.gov.ph, vevargas@sec.gov.ph, and jfbpatilleros@sec.gov.ph or by mail to the Markets and Securities Regulation Department of the SEC.

The Philippines is one of the most proactive regulators worldwide in developing regulatory frameworks to govern ICOs and cryptocurrency trading.

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