Acknowledging the potential of digital currencies to drive accelerated and cost-effective transactions, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Central Bank of the Philippines, has approved two new cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a Business World report.
Getting the Green Light
The BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier indicated that the exchanges Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. and ETranss have both been authorized to convert Philippine’s national fiat pesos into digital currencies, increasing the country’s profile of approved cryptocurrency exchanges to five.
Already, the central has put a stamp on virtual currency operations of Rebittance, Inc., Betur, Inc., (Coins.ph) and BloomSolutions.
There were previous discussions regarding the registration of the new exchanges as digital currency issuers since they were capable of delivering wallet services to users, but that thorough in-house evaluation of the issues indicated it wouldn’t be necessary to aid seamless entry for interested parties. Foncier said:
“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.”
As an e-money issuer in the Philippines, it is required of new-entrant virtual currency exchanges to have a base capital threshold of at least 100 million pesos (~5,000,000) and an aggregate load limit of 100,000 pesos (~5,000) for monthly e-money instruments.
Increased Anti-Money Laundering Scrutiny
However, in tandem with its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) mission, the Bank has pledged to monitor currency transactions in the digital space keenly, primarily as a mechanism for containing the flow of criminally generated monies. It demands that crypto exchanges account for covered transactions including those suspected to be of shady sources.
Business World also affirmed that conversions from the national currency to digital currencies have appreciably risen, with the aggregate figure hitting about $36 million per month in two monitored exchanges during the first quarter.
More Room for Digital Transformation
Since the authorities of the Southeast Asian nation recognized bitcoin as a legitimate means of payment and categorized cryptos as securities, the local cryptospace has grown considerably. The Philippines has set itself apart as one of the countries whose doors are open to the favorable dynamics of cryptocurrency.
Notably, on April 29, 2018, BTCManager reported that about ten new cryptocurrency companies were licensed to operate in country’s Cagayan Special Economic Zone, a move that has eased tax burdens for crypto exchanges in the region.