The Central Bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has given two new cryptocurrency exchanges the authority to process conversions between the Philippine peso and virtual currencies. Chuchi G. Fonacier, the deputy governor of BSP stated that the top bank of the country has given approval to the applications of ETranss and Virtual Currency Philippines as cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
BSP expects exchanges to offer cheaper transactions
With this approval, the total number of regulated and approved exchanges for virtual currency in the country is now five. The other three exchanges that have received approval from the Philippines authority include Betur Inc, Rebittance Inc., and BloomSolutions. Betur Inc received approval in September 2017 and Rebittance Inc. received it in October 2017. BloomSolutions is the first platform to receive the approval this year in May. As of now, there are 29 applications pending for cryptocurrency exchanges.
BSP expects cryptocurrencies to offer fast and cheap transactions for people while taking care to avoid potential risks such as money laundering, cybersecurity, crypto volatility, and criminal involvement. Prior to giving the approval, Philippines central bank discussed with experts whether the crypto exchanges should be allowed to operate on e-money license or not so that they can provide wallet services to the customers. According to the deputy governor of BSP, “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.”
Rise in cryptocurrency activity in Philippines
As per reports, the cryptocurrency activity in the country has increased in the past few months. The latest data released by the Philippines’ central bank reveals that the trading volume between the Philippine peso and virtual currencies have averaged $36.74 million/per month in the first quarter of this year.
Recently, the Philippines declared that it will offer at least 25 cryptocurrency and blockchain companies the authority to establish an operation in its Cagayan Economic Zone (CEZ). The CEZ Authority believes that it will attract new job opportunities in the area. As per the guideline, a company wishing to operate in this zone will have to first get the approval from concerned authorities and will have to pay a license fee of around $100,000 and invest a minimum amount of $1 million in a time span of two years.