The number of cryptocurrency exchanges approved by the Philippines has been growing. In addition to the 11 central bank-registered operators, namely Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, there are 37 cryptographic transaction operators authorized by the government-owned Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
11 Encrypted exchanges registered with the Central Bank
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Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) has registered 11 cryptocurrency exchanges, which have currency exchange or foreign exchange transactions and virtual currency (VC) exchange services, allowing them to do business in the country, based on the latest list of remittances and transfer companies. .
Licensed exchanges include Betur Inc. DBA Coins.ph, Rebittance Inc., Bloomsolutions Inc., Virtual Currency Philippines Inc., eTranss Remitation International Corp., Fynegrate Inc., ZYbi Tech Inc., Bexpress Inc., Coinville Phils Inc ., ABA Global Philippines Inc. and Bitan MoneyTech Co. Ltd.
The Central Bank issued Circular No. 944 on February 7, 2017, adopting a formal regulatory approach to cryptocurrency. It requires companies engaged in cryptocurrency conversion to legal tender in the Philippines to be registered as remittance and transfer companies at the Central Bank. The central bank elaborated:
BSP-registered venture capital exchanges now need to establish appropriate safeguards to address risks associated with venture capital, such as basic control of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, technology risk management and consumer protection.
As for the cryptocurrency ATM, the central bank disclosed on June 13 that it did not authorize any individual or entity to install or manage its online platform and other encrypted transactions anywhere in the Philippines. The notice reiterated that, according to the above notice, the encrypted ATM operator must be registered as a venture capital exchange at the central bank. In addition, the BSP noted that it may be necessary for the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue separate approvals for the issuance of the first token issue and the operation of the encrypted trading platform.
The other 37 are authorized by CEZA
In addition to BSP-registered companies, many other companies have also obtained permission from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) to operate encrypted exchanges. Ceza is a government-owned and controlled company that manages and supervises the development of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and the Freeport, which covers an area of 54,119 hectares and is located at the northeastern tip of the country.
“As a free port, it is a separate customs territory, similar to Hong Kong, Singapore, Labuan in Hamburg and Germany,” CEZA said, adding that it has been offering foreign companies rewards and advantages, registering there. Their business. “These developments are all thought to attract legitimate and productive local and foreign investments to create jobs in and around Freeport,” its website details. CEZA Executive Officer and CEO Raul L.Lambino explained:
We are making CEZA a sandbox for developing these disruptive technologies as a laboratory for stakeholders to experiment with on these new dimensions of commercial enterprises.
On June 17, CEZA disclosed that 37 companies are currently licensed under the 2018 Financial Technology Solutions and Offshore Virtual Currency Exchange (OVCE) Business Rules and Regulations. There are two types of licenses. 24 companies received the OVCE master license and 13 companies received the OVCE regular license. The former allows licensees to conduct offshore financial technology operations and encryption exchange activities; the latter only allows licensees to conduct offshore encryption exchange activities.
The 24 main licensees are Golden Millenial Quickpay, Ultra Precise Investment, Liannet Technology, Rare Earth Asia Technologies, Formosa Financial Holdings, Tanzer Holdings, Asia Premier International, Orient Express Global, White Ranch, Dragon Empire Developments, Galaxy Plus Developments, Tiger Wheel, Ipe Global, Cr8tiv Solutions Management, Sino-Phil Economic Zone Agency Development and Management, Digifin Technologies, Hong Kong Yuen Shing Hong, First Bullion Holdings, Okcoin Philippines Technology, 6x Tech, Increz Korea, Harseq, Fafa Internet Blockchain (China), and Wangwang Quickpay Foundation.
The 13 regular license holders include Cezex Trading, Unicorn Venture Investment, Eplata Pacific, A&C Fintech, Zipmex, Bird Mouse, EcoFlow, Adax Tech, Monetium, Bitpoint APEC Investment, HXL (Hong Kong) Technology, Noah Ark Technologies, and WTIA.
Ceza warned that some companies have falsely claimed to have obtained licenses such as Freedom Traders Club, Ploutos Innovation, Ploutos Coin, Hedger Technology, Hedger Mining, Idragon Science Development, TEO Consulting Group, ECP and Grace Exchange. The authorities also clarified:
No Filipino, or Filipino resident may apply for a CEZA OVCE license. If licensed, such licensees may not sell securities to Filipinos or convert tokens into fiat currency unless they are in the SEC or Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) )registered.
Philippine Construction for Asia Encryption Valley
In partnership with real estate developer Northern Star Gaming and Resorts, CEZA is creating an Asian encryption valley for companies operating in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
The first phase of the project included a 25-store housing development project in Cyber Park, providing services and amenities such as collaboration and living spaces, business incubation and acceleration centers, and back office of encryption exchange and service providers, CEZA Outline and add:
Soon, Encrypted Valley will also emerge, including world-class Internet data centers, encryption mining companies, self-sufficient power production facilities and state-of-the-art cybersecurity and risk assessment facilities.
BSP's method of monitoring cryptocurrency
“BSP recognizes that venture capital systems can revolutionize the delivery of financial services, especially payments and remittances,” Governor Nestor A. Espinilla admitted at the annual meeting of the Association of Fiscal Agents in the Philippines last June.
In explaining the central bank’s perceptions of cryptocurrencies and the regulatory approach, the governor stated that “cryptocurrency is an exchange medium. Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas acknowledges this,” notes:
We have adopted a balanced, open and flexible approach to privately issued cryptocurrencies… this is to enable the market to promote financial innovation and enable the industry to use all its benefits and efficiencies prudently.
He further pointed out that "cryptocurrences are as good or bad as legal tenders. They are neutral… BSP allows the market to develop, but it also issues regulations to protect consumer protection and maintain financial stability." (chain to finance)