The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) wants to be the platform for trading crypto assets when the country’s regulators issue long-awaited rules governing the practice, according to a report from CNN Philippines. 

PSE President and CEO Ramon Monzon told CNN Philippines that management first discussed the idea of setting up a domestic crypto exchange two weeks ago. The PSE has both the trading infrastructure and investor protection safeguards that Monzon said are necessary to trade cryptocurrencies.

Monzon told CNN Philippines that mounting interest in cryptocurrencies means the country cannot ignore them anymore. The PSE is awaiting guidelines from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which began seeking comments from banks, investors and the public in 2019 on whether the country should build a domestic crypto exchange.

The country’s government has historically been friendly toward digital assets. Even though the Philippine Central Bank has been outspoken about not considering the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) anytime soon, it has licensed more than a dozen crypto exchanges to operate in the country. And many Filipinos have become interested in crypto as a way to make money, with play-to-earn crypto mobile games like Axie Infinity becoming a popular way to earn extra income. 

Monzon told CNN Philippines that he believes the volatility of cryptocurrencies is what makes them attractive, which is why trading should happen under the watch of the PSE. 

“Instant riches could be instant poverty, too,” he said.

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