The Philippines Central bank is reported to have authorized two of the country’s banks to process conversions between cryptocurrencies and the Philippine peso.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) deputy governor Chuchi G. Fonacier has said that the bank has approved applications from the two exchanges, Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. and ETranss as platforms according to Business World.
The Philippines now has five authorized crypto exchanges with the addition of the two new platforms with 29 other exchanges still awaiting regulators’ approval to commence trading.
The Bank’s deputy governor has revealed that there may be changes to future crypto exchange regulations which means that the financial regulator waives electronic money issuer (EMI) licenses, suggesting that “There are some refinements. This may entail additional requirement but not automatically an EMI license.”
Cryptocurrency trading in the Philippines is on the rise this year with the trading volume between crypto and the Phillippines peso averaging US$36.74 million per month in the first quarter of 2018.
Not only cryptocurrency but blockchain itself is becoming a fast-growing industry in the South-East Asian country with a regulator-friendly background and the Philippines has long been a magnet to foreign investment, as illustrated by its Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
The Philippines started developing these zones in the mid-1990s in order to promote investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI). Over the past 22 years, Philippine SEZs have become an innovative home for FDI, especially attracting investments in the manufacturing sector. The Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, the US, and, more recently, South Korea, have been the top sources of investment in the Philippine SEZs.
SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong recently made comments which will offer those in the industry much hope for the future regarding cryptocurrency trading; views which are slowly become more frequently expressed by government departments and regulators globally:
“The government wants to be proactive in creating rules about cryptocurrency. We want to engage all the stakeholders by asking for your feedback. We don’t want to ban anything just because we don’t understand something…”
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