The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) is an initiative of the government of the Philippines to diversify the economy. The economic zone is slowly morphing into what people call the Crypto Valley of Asia. This is an ambition similar to what the Swiss Zug has become.
According to the Filipino government, the crypto valley will hopefully attract fintech companies from Japan, Korea, and Australia.
Crypto Valley of Asia to attract foreign companies
Further, CEZA anticipates earning a lot from the licenses that the fintech companies will apply for. The government already expects to earn $68 million from the licensing of 25 fintech companies in the zone. These are a few of the firms that already are setting up shop in the economic zone.
The Crypto Valley of Asia (CVA) is a joint initiative between CEZA and private partners. In early August, CEZA made a joint announcement with Northern Star Gaming & Resorts Inc. (Northern Star) to develop CVA.
The two firms are planning to pool their resources to develop the ‘crypto estate’. In essence, the development estate would include a world-class internet data center and crypto mining firms. Further, the CVA would also include contained power production facilities, and a state-of-the-art cyber security and risk assessment facility.
Already, the venture into the fintech sector is proving to be a great move for CEZA. The authority earned enough in three quarters to be able to pay out P83 million in taxes. This implies a significant turnaround from last year’s deficits.
Business Mirror quotes CEZA Administrator and CEO Raul Lambino who said the sum paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue “was a huge turnaround for the agency that went into deficit in 2017.”
Further, Lambino credits much of the revenue from cryptocurrency and blockchain activity. He said: “The idea of setting up the first cryptocurrency and blockchain technology center in the country has paid off handsomely. Financial technology is proving to be the new high tech of the future.”
However, the authority is also cracking down on crypto firms operating in the economic zone without proper licenses. According to Lambino, the firms include those involved in online gambling.