Bitcoin Exchanges Could Face New Regulations in the Philippines

The central bank of the Philippines is weighing new restrictions on money services in the country, including bitcoin exchanges.

AccessTimeIconJun 6, 2016 at 8:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:18 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The central bank of the Philippines is looking to expand oversight of the country’s financial system following an embarrassing hack on the SWIFT international transfer system – a move that may ultimately result in new rules for domestic bitcoin services.

According to Reuters, officials for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are mulling whether to apply additional scrutiny to money exchangers in the Philippines, which could capture bitcoin exchanges that swap cash for digital currencies.

During an event organized by the central bank, deputy governor Nestor Espenilla, who oversees the institution’s supervision of banks, said discussions were ongoing.

Espenilla was quoted as saying:

"That is what we are looking to do, whether it is now time to impose hard regulations for virtual currency operators. Right now, we look at them as akin to remittance companies."

Earlier this year, a cyberattack on the central bank of Bangladesh resulted in the theft of $81m, which took place via the institution’s conduit to the SWIFT network. SWIFT is used as a clearing system for the world’s financial institutions, and flaws in the Bangladeshi central bank’s cybersecurity measures were blamed for enabling the intrusion.

The incident has sparked both criticism as well as a rethink of how these institutions access SWIFT. At the event, Espenilla said that central bank officials in the Philippines have organized a new working group to address potential flaws in its cybersecurity policies.

, Espenilla suggested that any banks found at fault in the February hack could face penalties, according to Bloomberg.

Image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.