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Philippine Bill to Impose Penalties for Crimes Involving Cryptocurrencies

The Philippine country has no official regulation for cryptocurrencies and relies on advisories from SEC and BSP. SEC said some cryptocurrencies fall under securities categorization.

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A bill before the 17th Congress is seeking to increase penalties to criminality involving cryptocurrency. Congress received the law on February 14.

If it becomes law, the penalty will be one degree higher than usual for any single crime under the country’s penal code.

For instance, let’s say a crime has a penalty of “Prision Mayor Minimum” with a minimum degree. Further, assume that it requires 6 to 8 years of imprisonment. Let’s now say there is a medium degree or “Prision Mayor Medium” penalty of the crime. Further, assume it requires 8 – 10 years of imprisonment.  If the person committing crime uses cryptocurrency in the crime, one degree higher could mean a “minimum degree” of penalty now jumps to a “medium degree” of penalty.

Moreover, the value of the crime will be measured by the amount of crypto in PHP at the time of the commission of the crime. The government can confiscate the property in question. Confiscation is avoidable property belongs to a third party with no involvement in the illegal activity.

The Philippines does not have any formal regulation for cryptocurrencies. Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines considers it as securities. All securities fall under the Philippine Securities Regulation Code. Additionally, the BSP’s Memorandum Circular issues advisory about the usage of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Some cryptocurrencies are securities

The SEC in January said some ICOs are introducing cryptocurrencies which fall under securities categorization. It means not all cryptocurrencies fall under the securities categorization. In other words, all ICOs are investment contracts, transactions or scheme in an enterprise and owners (project initiators or leaders) lead investors to expect profits from efforts of others.

The country also has anti-money laundering regulations, and there are fears of use of crypto in crime and money laundering.

Find us on Twitter and Telegram for more information more  Cryptocurrencies risks.

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David Kariuki is a journalist who has a wide range of experience reporting about modern technology solutions including cryptocurrencies. A graduate of Kenya's Moi University, he also writes for Hypergrid Business, Cryptomorrow, and Cleanleap, and has previously worked for Resources Quarterly and Construction Review magazines.

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