PH gives nod to two more crypto exchanges

Jul 09, 2018 at 22:41

The Philippines’ central bank has approved the accreditation of two new virtual currency (VC) exchanges, bringing the total in the country to five.

The newly accredited platforms are Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. and ETranss, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

This puts the total approved VC exchanges to five. The initial players are Rebittance, Inc., Betur, Inc. (renowned as and BloomSolutions.

This development may further boost the peso-to-digital currency conversions which have been on a surge in recent years. For two exchanges alone, conversions averaged $36.74 million per month in January to March this year.
Although the BSP has lauded the convenience and lower remittance rates afforded in using digital currencies, the regulator remains cautious amid the cryptocurrency boom.

In fact, the regulator earlier said it is evaluating whether these exchanges should register as e-money issuers given that they maintain e-wallets for clients.

However, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier hinted that the proposed policy may not be necessary as the agency aims to simplify the application process for new 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,” Ms. Fonacier told reporters in an ambush interview.

Should VC exchanges sign up as e-money issuers, they will need a minimum capital of P100 million while it will need to comply with the P100,000 cap on aggregate load for e-money instruments per month.