SEC warns public vs. unregistered foreign cryptocurrency, play-to-earn entities

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday warned the public against transacting with unregistered foreign entities and their online platforms such as cryptocurrency sites or play-to-earn games.

The commission said that these foreign corporations allow Filipinos to access their online platforms and permit the enrollment, creation, or registration of client accounts through online means despite having no license to do business in the country.

“The public is also advised to avoid transacting with corporations or entities without any registration or license to do business in the Philippines in order to avoid losing their earnings,” said SEC in an advisory. “If an entity or an activity is unlicensed or unregistered and is based abroad, you run the risk of not getting your money back once these are transmitted outside of the Philippines."

The SEC said the unregistered online platforms include, but are not limited to:

a. Foreign Currency (Forex) Brokers and Exchanges

b. Digital Asset/Cryptocurrency/Virtual Asset Exchanges

c. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Investment Platforms

d. Yield Farming/Staking Platforms

e. Multi-asset/Multi-security Brokerage Companies

f. Websites for Securities Token Offerings/Token Generation Events

g. Illegal Investment Scheme websites

h. Binary Options Trading apps

i. Pay-to-Click/Captcha websites

j. “Play-to-Earn Gaming” platforms

k. Various fiat/cryptocurrency gambling websites

l. Various cryptocurrency-related investment websites

The SEC said it has received numerous inquiries regarding the implication of dealing with such entities.

It warned that fraud committed by any unregistered company will fall under the jurisdiction of the country where it operates.

“If you put your earnings in a platform which is reachable in the Philippines, but is operated by non-registered corporations or entities, the government can offer very limited protection or, in some cases, no protection from any harm, damage, fraud or any form of misconduct which may be caused or committed by these corporations or entities,” said SEC.

SEC advised the public to check through its website whether a company is registered or not.