Philippines Central Bank Approves Two New Crypto Exchanges

News, Regulation | July 9, 2018 By:

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has approved the registration of two new crypto exchnages.

In an interview with local reporters, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said that ETranss and Virtual Currency Philippines have been given the green light to operate crypto exchanges in the country.

“The regulator has approved applications filed by Virtual Currency Philippines Inc. and Etranss as platforms to convert pesos into virtual currencies (VC) like bitcoin and ethereum,” Fonacier said.

The approvals bring the total number of accredited crypto exchanges in the country to five. Coins.ph and Rebittance was approved in September and October 2017, respectively. In May of this year, Bloom Solutions was approved as the third crypto exchange operator in the country. Crypto exchanges are required to hold a minimum capital of P100 million ($1.8M USD).

While the BSP previously said that crypto exchanges should register as e-money issuers because they offer wallet services for their clients, Fonacier said that “internal consultations showed that it may not be advisable.”

“Now, we are refining the rules,” Fonacier said. “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.”

The news comes just days after the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) revealed plans to issue licenses to cryptocurrency firms. Raul Lambino, Administrator and CEO of the CEZA, said that the authority will only issue 25 principal licenses for cryptocurrency companies, and each firm will only have sub-licenses of as many as 20 to 30 traders or brokers.