Asia is a booming market for cryptocurrencies. There are countries such as South Korea that have revamped its rules regarding cryptocurrencies. South Korea has practically agreed to adopt the G20 unified crypto rules.
In addition to this, Japan is also paving way for regulating the market in their own territory protecting investors while allowing crypto exchanges to operate. Another Asian country that is quite open to the crypto niche is the Philippines.
Recently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) approved the accreditation of two additional cryptocurrency exchanges. And by doing so, it has increased the number of crypto exchanges operating in the country to five.
Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier announced that it has approved the operation of Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc, and ETranss in order to carry out transactions that convert Philippine pesos into digital currencies.
Boom in the Philippine Market
The Philippines is currently making waves in Asia. The Philippines has an approach to embrace the crypto industry rather than cracking down on crypto trading and other crypto-related activities. The BSP has adopted a policy that recognizes the advantages that are offered by the cryptocurrencies to the Philippines. Keep in mind that Philippine economy has been reliant on remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). And by far, cryptocurrencies have been seen as something that can help enable fast and cheaper remittances from abroad.
The most popular crypto app in the Philippines right now is Coins.ph. Coins.ph has expanded its number of users to five million. It has a more than a million users on its Android app alone. So far, Coins.ph is popular not only for crypto-related transactions. It also has credit options such as mobile payments and bill settlements. And also, there is even an option to get a short-term unsecured loan.
Another reason for the popularity of Coins.ph is that it provides an alternative to remittances. Currently, the Philippines for the first quarter of 2018 has generated $7.8 billion in remittance.
Earlier this month, Raul Lambino who is the CEO of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority posted on the CEZA website that it is going to grant 25 licenses for cryptocurrency exchanges. Cagayan is located in the Northern Part of Luzon Island. In order to get a license, the exchanges will have to come up with at least $1 million within the next two years. And also, there will be a limit to the sublicenses that are available for each exchange. It is going to be a maximum of 20 to 30 brokers or traders.
According to Lambino, “We do not want the Philippines to be a haven (for scammers) even if these scams are happening abroad. That’s why through our probity and integrity check we can determine if their transactions are just designed to entice unsuspecting people to invest in Bitcoin or whatever crypto coin that is a fraud”.
In addition to this, though CEZA is also open to ICOs, Lambino explained that the ICO should be asset-backed. He mentioned that “If they offer in the market their initial (digital) coin, they maybe able to convince 50 unsuspecting investors and promise them the sun and the moon. This is the Ponzi scheme. We are not going to allow it”. And also, the ICOs will not be available to Philippine residents.