BSP and SEC not yet requiring Axie Infinity to register

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2021 05:58 PM

MANILA - Play-to-earn online game Axie Infinity is not yet required to register with Philippine securities and monetary regulators, but it will be monitored. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Monday that Axie Infinity isn’t required to register with them right now, but they are closely monitoring the game if it grows in popularity. 

The two government regulators say if the use of Axie Infinity’s cryptocurrencies increases in the Philippines, they may have to step in, to offer some form of protection to Filipino players and investors. 

“We are not yet requiring Axie infinity to register with the BSP,” said Melchor Plabasan, Director of the BSP’s Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department.

“Ang pinagaaralan namin is yung payment component. Papaano pag napakaraming merchants sa Pilipinas ang nag-a-acept ng SLP (smooth love potion),” Plabsan said in a YouTube video posted over the weekend. 

(We are looking at the payment component. What if more merchants in the Philippines start accepting SLP - one of the cryptocurrencies in Axie.)

Lyka, a social network whose "gems" virtual currency could be used to buy goods and services, was earlier ordered to register by the BSP. 

The BSP said new rules on such digital assets would have to be discussed in the Financial Sector Forum (FSF).

The FSF is a voluntary inter-agency forum comprised of the BSP, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Insurance Commission and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). 

In February 2021, these agencies signed a memorandum of agreement that establishes a cooperative oversight framework on fintech innovation. 

The framework aims to facilitate seamless regulation and supervision of fintech companies across the financial sector and to leverage on consultative and collaborative platforms. 

The agreements under the framework are expected to eliminate regulatory arbitrage and promote adherence to standards on cybersecurity, anti-money laundering and the combatting of financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), and consumer protection."

Meanwhile, the public should only transact with firms registered to deal with virtual assets, according to the BSP.

“In this regard, the BSP reminds the public to transact only with BSP- registered Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) which are required by Circular No. 1108 to set up consumer awareness measures. Such measures are intended to educate end-users of the risks associated with acquisition and trading of virtual assets, the cybersecurity procedures for safeguarding their digital wallets, the fees related to the use of the platforms and the problem resolution procedures.”

As of July, there are 15 BSP-registered VASPs that can facilitate the exchange/trading of virtual assets to and from the Philippine peso, the BSP said.

Plabasan addressed public concerns that Axie Infinity is a ponzi scam. 

“I think right now, it is really, it is a virtual game. Mukhang hindi naman siya Ponzi scheme (It doesn’t look like a Ponzi scheme).”

Watch more News on iWantTFC