As millennials embrace bitcoin, business group bats for regulation


Posted at Mar 07 2018 01:51 AM

MANILA - A group of businessmen called for regulations to protect investors in cryptocurrencies as these digital tokens make their way to the mainstream. 

The Shareholders Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL) told ANC's Market Edge that cryptocurrencies are attracting a lot of attention among investors, especially millennials, and that regulators need to step up to ensure they are protected.

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Ed Franciso, SharePHIL director, said his own children have invested money in bitcoin even if they were not completely aware of the issues surrounding it. 

"This just goes to show that even without the proper education, [about cryptocurrencies] our kids and the millennials are buying into this," Tolentino said. 

Francis Lim, SharePHIL president, meanwhile cited the case of agribusiness firm Calata Corp, which tried to raise money via an "initial coin offering" after its shares were delisted by the stock exchange over disclosure violations. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission later ordered Calata to stop the issuance of its cryptocurrency.

"We cannot leave it unregulated for the sake of the investors," Lim said.

Francisco, meanwhile, said that while he was unsure of how to look at cryptocurrencies, he welcomed blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin and other digital tokens.

"My personal view is blockchain is something we should welcome in all industries," Francisco said. 

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are regulated by the central bank for applications such as remittances and payments, 

SharePHIL is holding a forum on cryptocurrencies on March 12 at the Dusit Thani hotel in Makati.