Philippines Becoming a Cryptocurrency Hub; Two New Exchanges get approved
The Philippines is poised to see a boom in cryptocurrency trading with the country's central bank authorizing two new exchanges, taking the total tally to five. The Philippines' central bank - the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) - accredited Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. and ETranss last week.
BSP's deputy governor Chuchi G. Fonacier reportedly said the regulator is easing up the process of approving cryptocurrency exchanges as applicants no longer require electronic money issuer (EMI) licenses.
"Now, we are refining the rules…If your business model has a portion making use of e-wallet, then there’s an additional requirement but not necessarily or automatically an e-money license," he was quoted, as saying.
Three existing platforms which support conversions between the Philippine peso and cyrptocurrencies include, Betur Inc., the operator of Coins.ph (accredited in September 2017), Rebittance Inc. (approved in and October 2017) and and BloomSolutions (accredited in May 2018). Fonacier added that there are 29 cryptocurrency exchanges' applications pending for approval.
It is quite a refreshing to see the Philippines recognizing virtual currency trading platforms as the rest of the developing world is still showing skepticism towards cryptocurrencies. Fonacier pointed out his country recognizes the crypto sector' potential to ease and speed up the delivery of financial services, both at home and internationally. Therefore, BSP was taking steps for its financial inclusion and regulation.
"We see a rapid increase in the trajectory. It is coming from a small base but increasing that is why we decided to require them to register," Espenilla told the Philippines Star.
The crypto trading volume has multiplied by three times from $2 million per month last year to about $6 million per month this year, according to latest data from the BSP .
"That is the importance of putting them under the regulatory framework. They have to comply with it. We are moving to regulate them," he said.
The Cagayan Special Economy Zone of the country is fast becoming a hub for blockchain startups, with the tax-friendly jurisdiction gearing up to become the home to at least 25 new crypto exchanges, reports said.
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