BSP warns vs illegal VASPs

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) urged the public last Wednesday to avoid transacting with Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that are either unregistered or domiciled abroad.

In a public advisory, the Central Bank said virtual asset dealings, especially those with unregistered entities, pose a high risk of loss to the financial consumer. VASPs are entities that offer services or engage in activities that provide facility for the transfer and exchange of virtual assets.

“On top of the inherent risk of price volatility associated with Virtual Assets (VAs), VASPs that are based abroad may present additional challenges on enforcing legal recourse and consumer protection and redress mechanisms for local customers, among others,” the BSP said.

The Bangko Sentral said VA dealings are generally considered as “high risk activities” which may result in “huge financial losses due to price swings”.

“Both the government and registered VASPs do not, in any way, guarantee protection against financial losses stemming from VA price fluctuations,”

The Central Bank also said recent data suggests that frauds and scams have consistently contributed to a large portion of VA-based crimes.

“Thus, the public should exercise caution, conduct their own due diligence, and always be mindful of the risks prior to engaging with VA-related activities,” the BSP said.

To verify whether a VASP is supervised and regulated by the Bangko Sentral, the public may verify from the list of BSP-registered VASPs in the BSP’s official website. Bianca Cuaresma


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