For the purpose of processing conversions between the Philippine peso and cryptocurrencies, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Philippines central bank has authorized a couple of new cryptocurrency exchanges.
A report by the Philippine Star shows that the Philippines central has approved the applications filed by both cryptocurrency platforms, ETranss and Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. The report also revealed that BSP’s deputy governor Chuchi G. Fonacier went on to give confirmation of this authorization.
The authorization of the above-mentioned cryptocurrency exchanges brings the tally of the total number of regulated and approved cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines to 5. The remaining three cryptocurrency exchanges that have been approved in the Philippine are as follows:
- Betur Inc., the operator of Coins.ph. (approved September 2017)
- Rebittance Inc., (approved October 2017)
- BloomSolutions, (approved May 2018)
Significantly, as many as 29 applications for cryptocurrency exchanges are yet pending.
Fonacier also went on to reveal that the process of securing electronic money issuer (EMI) would not be necessary for applicants operating cryptocurrency exchanges, thus simplifying the process.
Her statement reads, “A few refinements would be required. This may involve extra requirements, however not consequently an EMI permit.”
In the past few months, there has been an incredible rise in cryptocurrency activities. The most recent data published by the BSP showed trading volume between cryptocurrencies and the Philippine peso to be at an average of US$36.74 million per month for the first quarter of the current year.
A formal regulatory framework dated February 6, 2017, has been established by the BSP for all crypto exchanges through Circular 944. As per the requirements of the BSP, all cryptocurrency exchanges would have to be registered as remittance and transfer companies, while also setting up adequate measures to address the risks involved in cryptocurrencies, these measures include technology risk management systems, consumer protection and control measures to counter terrorist financing and money laundering.
In the northern tip of the Philippines, the Cagayan Special Economy Zone has an aim of transforming into an appealing location for blockchain start-ups and to be known as a “Fintech City.”
As per a recent announcement, the state agency that looks after the special economic zone, The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), would welcome as many as 25 cryptocurrency exchange operators to set up shop in its tax-friendly jurisdiction.
As per the requirements, every single exchange would initially have to invest a minimum of US$1 million within a period of two years and also all exchange would have sub-licenses of only 20 to 30 brokers or traders.
Quite notably the administrator and CEO of CEZA, Raul L. Lambino has stated that all citizens residing in the Philippines would not be permitted to trade or invest in ICOs.