Philippines central bank mull regulations on bitcoin use

Regulation | December 26, 2016 By:

The Philippines central bank is considering introducing digital currency regulations to protect consumers.

Nestor Espenilla, deputy governor at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), told Bloomberg that the current volume of transactions involving digital currencies in the country is “rising very quickly” since they are cheaper and quicker compared to regular remittance channels.

“We are studying putting virtual currency exchange operators under a more formal regulatory framework,” said Espenilla, noting that the central bank is “concerned with potential money laundering and consumer protection.”

Espenilla further suggested that the regulations will likely require virtual currency-related businesses to conduct client checks, report suspicious transactions and send data to the central bank. Philippines is currently home to a number of bitcoin-based companies including Coins.ph, Bitcoin Philippines, Satoshi Citadel Industries and others.

“We have to be mindful of what risks are being introduced into the system,” he said. “In exchange, virtual currency operators get legitimacy. For so long as the regulatory environment is clear, innovation can happen.”