Philippines: Senator Proposes Stricter Penalties For Crimes Involving Crypto

Philippine Senator Leila de Lima has submitted a invoice to impose stricter penalties for cryptocurrency-associated crimes, due to the complexity of the investigation approach, in accordance to a press launch from the Philippine Senate released Tuesday, March 13.

In accordance to Senate Invoice (SB) No. 1694, all crimes described by the Revised Penal Code (RPC) would incur a penalty one degree bigger than regular if the criminal offense concerned the use of “virtual currency”. De Lima further advised a seizure of cryptocurrency made use of in unlawful activity, unless of course it came from a guiltless party. De Lima said in the press release:

“Thanks to its anonymous or pseudonymous character, law enforcement agencies could experience problem in tracing the user or proprietor of a digital forex utilized in the commission of crimes, thus necessitating a larger penalty for its use.”

According to De Lima, the steps aim to adapt the government’s criminal justice system to what they see as a new kind of criminal offense in order to beat additional regular conditions of unlawful exercise involving cryptocurrency. Amongst these, De Lima shown bogus Bitcoin marketing, cryptocurrency corruption, working with digital forex money as payment for illegal merchandise, cash laundering, and terrorist financing.

“Considering the fact that digital currency resembles cash, the alternatives are infinite,” the Senator claimed.

At present the Philippine central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), defines cryptocurrency as “any type of electronic device that is used as a medium of exchange or a kind of digitally stored worth developed by agreement in the local community of digital currency customers,” according to the senate’s publish.

In February 2017, BSP acknowledged Bitcoin (BTC) as a lawful payment approach, stressing that the conclusion does not constitute an official endorsement by the Philippine govt or standing as authorized tender, as Bitcoin is not issued by the central bank. Later on in November 2017, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) introduced its programs to consider cryptocurrencies as securities.

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