Philippine Senator Leila de Lima geared up to introduce the tougher penalties for taking part in cryptocurrency related crimes.
According to Senate Bill (SB) No. 1694 released in a March 13 press release, all the crimes listed by the Revised Penal Code would experience a penalty one degree higher than previous for the cryptocurrency involvement.
Furthermore, De Lima recommended a seizure of cryptocurrency used in fraudulent events, unless it is notified by the innocent party.
De Lima quoted in the press release:
“Due to its anonymous or pseudonymous character, law enforcement agencies may encounter difficulty in tracing the user. Also the owner of a virtual currency used in the commission of crimes. Thereby necessitating a higher penalty for its use.”
She further told,
“With the emerging threats of [cryptocurrency] use in the commission of crimes, our penal laws must adapt with the changing times and our criminal justice system must come prepared in the event that this is used in illegal activities.”
According to her, these measures are executed to combat regular cases of illegal cryptocurrency activities. Such like cryptocurrency corruption, forged Bitcoin selling, making payments for illegal products, money laundering, and terrorist financing.
“Since virtual currency resembles money, the possibilities are endless.”
At present, Bangko Sentral ng Philippines(BSP), Philippine central bank outlines cryptocurrency as “any kind of digital unit that is in use as a platform of exchange or a form of digitally stored value formed by contract within the community of virtual currency users,” as per the Senate ‘s post.
In the month of February 2017, BSP documented Bitcoin as a legal payment method. It emphasizing that the conclusion does not establish an official endorsement by the government of Philippine or lists as legal tender. Later in the month of November 2017, Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) publicized its tactics to reflect cryptocurrencies as securities.