Philippines Central Bank Accepts Two More Crypto Exchanges
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippine central bank, has approved applications filed by two new crypto exchanges, according to reports from 6th July.
Chuchi G. Fonacier, the deputy governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), reportedly said that the bank has approved the applications of ETranss and Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc., accrediting them as new platforms. With this move, the two crypto exchanges can legally convert Philippine pesos to cryptocurrencies.
This makes them the fourth and fifth crypto exchanges in the Philippines that have been approved and regulated.
The other crypto exchanges include Betur Inc, Coins.ph’s operator, and Rebittance Inc., approved in September and October 2017, and lastly, BloomSolutions, which was approved in May 2018. There are currently 29 applications for cryptocurrency exchanges awaiting approval.
BSP has recognized the cryptocurrencies for their potential to provide cheaper and faster transactions to customers but still remains cautious of its potential risks, such as cybersecurity, money laundering, criminal involvement, and crypto volatility.
BSP had previously considered whether the new exchanges should register as e-money issuers because they offer wallet services for their clients. Fonacier said that internal consultations advised against such a requirement in the interest of providing a streamlined registration process for new market players:
“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.”
In November last year, the Philippines’ SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) said it was considering legalizing the use of cryptocurrencies in the country by “classifying them as securities”. Earlier the same year, the central bank recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method.
As a result the cryptocurrency activity has surged in the Philippines in the past months. Latest data from the BSP showed trading volume between cryptocurrencies and the Philippine peso averaged US$36.74 million per month in the first quarter of 2018.
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