Philippines central bank approves two crypto exchanges

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, announced that it had approved two more cryptocurrency exchanges. This brings the total number of approved firms in the country to 13.

Melchor Plabasan, officer-in-charge of the Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department at the BSP, gave the report. He stated that BSP approved two companies, Atomtrans Tech Corp. and Tokyo-based Telcoin Corp. to operate as virtual exchanges in the region.

Atomtrans Tech Corp. International is a financial service with its headquarters at Manila. The company was founded in 2017 and has branches in other countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Argentina. Since its launch, the company has launched various products including ATC Remittance, ATC Digital Currency Exchange, and ATC Payment.

The company has achieved a lot in the last couple of year. Atomtrans has a strategic cooperation agreement with China UnionPay Electronic Payment Co., Ltd. and UnionBank of the Philippines. Currently, it is also exclusively representing Philippine-China remittance products.

Other approved VC exchanges include Bexpress, Coinville Phils., A BloomSolutions, Virtual Currency Philippines, ETranss Remittance International, BA Global Phils., Betur (Coins.ph), Rebittance, Fyntegrate, ZyBi Tech, and Bitan MoneyTech Co. Ltd. Inc.

Authorities in the countries have exercised great caution when it comes to crypto businesses. The law in the Philippines provides that all virtual exchanges should register with the BSP. They should also register with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and submit regular reports regarding their overall finances and transactions.

Earlier in June, the central bank expresses its concerns on cryptocurrencies by stating that it is still “lukewarm” on the industry. This might explain its reluctance in approving more firms on the space. A senior official at BSP stated:

“We have to be open to innovation except that we also have a responsibility to consumers. Let’s give it another three to five years.”

In addition, last month, the central bank issued a memo warning banks to be more vigilant when handling crypto businesses. In the memo, the deputy governor of the BSP, Chuchi Fonacier reminded banks to only transact with registered exchanges. The memo read:

“As a safeguard against unregistered virtual currency exchanges, BSP-supervised financial institutions, upon onboarding and during transaction monitoring, should exercise extra caution and vigilance as well as perform enhanced due diligence, as necessary, in accordance with their Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Program as prescribed under existing regulation.”

nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen: Philippines is the perfect market for virtual currency

nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen: Philippines is the perfect market for virtual currency

Nguyen says there’s work to do, but that the BSP is doing right in creating sensible regulation to improve consumer confidence. 

In an interview with Bloomberg TV Philippines, nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen gave insights on the blockchain and cryptocurrency development in the country and how it can impact overseas remittances. According to Nguyen, the country is in the early stages of cryptocurrency adoption, but is on the right path.

“I think the Philippines is in the early stages of adopting cryptocurrencies generally—and blockchain technology,” Nguyen said, adding however that there aren’t a lot of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to help citizens participate in the new economy.

“I think it is headed in the right direction. This is the perfect market for virtual currency.”

The Philippine economy benefits highly from overseas foreign workers (OFWs) sending money back to their families in the country. Last year, the World Bank estimated that OFW remittances to the Philippines would hit almost $33 billion, bumping the archipelago up as the third biggest remittance-receiving country behind India and China. Nguyen, says the country’s remittance activities can be made better.

“Remittance and wire transfers could be much cheaper and more efficient. And that’s important to the Philippines.” Nguyen, whose company nChain is helping develop Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for cheap and fast transactions, went on to explain the value of BCH in comparison to BTC for daily transactions due to its usability, despite the former only having existed for only eight months.

As was the global trend, several scammers took advantage of the advent of blockchain technology to pull off Ponzi schemes and other cons, prompting the country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the SEC to issue warnings to the public, along with a set of guidelines for businesses planning to open up exchanges in the country. The BSP has also been in talks with some industry players in the Philippines to help gain better understanding of the technology.

Nguyen commends the BSP’s openness despite the risks.

“I know the BSP issued some guidelines recently to warn people to be careful about investing in virtual currency. In addition to recognizing the risks, it recognized the value for a country like the Philippines.”

He adds that regulation would actually be good for cryptocurrencies. “I think, first of all, it’s a good step for the government to begin sensible regulations for virtual currencies. Some people in the Bitcoin world don’t like that. I, particularly because I’m a former lawyer, think regulation can be a good thing and create more consumer confidence,” Nguyen said.

In terms of the PHP 150 million ($2.9 million) minimum capital requirement imposed by the government on digital wallet operators, Nguyen thinks it’s quite low but “it’s a start.”

“That capital requirement is fairly low, but we are dealing with people’s money. I think it’s important to require the wallet operators and the exchange operators to have backing so that we avoid situations like in Japan—with the Mt Gox hack a number of years ago and a lot of people lost their bitcoin and didn’t have recourse against the company,” Nguyen explained.

“So I think that’s probably a start and over time, as the exchanges and wallets get bigger, they’ll probably raise the capital requirement. I think that’s a sensible step,” he added.

Watch the interview below:

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Philippines sees surge in cryptocurrency exchange applications

Philippines sees surge in cryptocurrency exchange applications

The number of businesses applying to operate cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines has been growing as the sector gains popularity, a senior official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) confirmed.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier told local reporters over the weekend that the applications have become so many in the last couple of months. Investors are also having a great interest in virtual currency exchanges.

Since the beginning of 2018, cryptocurrency exchanges have had to face various regulations with many businesses either shutting down or thriving. Governments, central banks,and other institutions have set measures to regulate virtual currency exchanges across the world.Despite the growing scrutiny that cryptocurrencies have faced, the industry is still growing with more investors, buyers and entrepreneurs joining the virtual currency exchanges market.

In the Philippines, the BSP has already taken steps to regulate cryptocurrency-related businesses. This was done to help protect those who wished to participate in the cryptocurrency market through virtual currency exchanges. The central bank issued Circular 944 in February 2017, which aimed to help reduce the increased number of criminal activities like money laundering and terrorism funding. Virtual currency exchanges are required to follow the guidelines in their operations.

At the moment, Fonacier said there are 29 applications under different stages of the application process—twice the number of applications recorded by the central bank in December 2017.

As of March 15, there are only two cryptocurrency exchanges accredited to operate in the Philippines: Rebittance Inc. and Betur Inc., which operates coins.ph. According to reports, the two virtual currency exchanges earned an average of $8 million per month in the past months.

The BSP’s circular requires intensive analysis of applicants to eliminate all businesses that do not comply with the set regulations. Interested companies will have to register with the central bank and the Anti-Money Laundering Council, and are required to submit periodic reports on their operations and finances.

The virtual currency exchange business in the Philippines is quite lucrative as cryptocurrencies like SegWit-Coin BTC (otherwise known as Bitcoin Legacy of Core) and other cryptocurrencies have become quite popular with the locals. Central bank authorities said they are still waiting for more documentation from the applicants before they can make any approvals. Members of the public, meanwhile, have been advised to exercise caution when dealing with matters relating to cryptocurrency.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

source: https://coingeek.com/philippines-sees-surge-cryptocurrency-exchange-applications/

Coins.ph opens digital exchange to private beta

Coins.ph opens digital exchange to private beta, launches BCH/PHP trading pairs

Philippine-based digital currency wallet Coins.ph announced the forthcoming launch of its Coins Exchange (CX) platform, which will serve as a digital currency exchange and is the first order-book exchange in the country.

In a statement, Coins.ph said that after receiving requests for “lower bitcoin (BTC) conversion fees” for the past couple of months, they wanted to let their users know that they’ve taken these requests to heart and are now working on a private beta of the platform.

Once officially launched, the exchange will allow unlimited trading (no balance limits, no deposit limits) at lower fees. According to its live trading page, it currently accepts Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and legacy Bitcoin (BTC).

Here’s a screenshot of CX’s trade page with the BCH/PHP trading pair selected as default when the page first loads:

With the proposed regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, startups in the country have been preparing their documents and filing for compliance with the local government.

Coins.ph is a blockchain services platform which started operating in the Philippines in 2014. According to CX’s about page, Coins.ph has secured a Certificate of Registration from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to “formally operate as a virtual currency exchange.”

The CX project is “to make access to digital currency cheap and fast,” according to the company, noting that such efforts to offer a professional-grade order-book would result to reduced costs for trading digital currency in the country.

The platform’s consumer base forms about 2 million active users who buy and sell cryptocurrencies, send remittances to their families, and do online payments without requiring them to have bank accounts or registrations with other financial institutions.

The blockchain company previously stated that it has been evaluating the possibility of supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a move that would reflect the cryptocurrency community’s vision to “bank the unbanked” and empower users with low fees and reliable confirmations over a secure network.

CX is still in private beta to a limited number of Coins.ph users, but its site has opened a waitlist for new users to register.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

12 exchanges wait for approval to operate in the Philippines

The central bank of the Philippines is reportedly reviewing applications from at least a dozen companies looking to start a virtual currency exchange operation, even though cryptocurrency use has yet to be regulated in the country.

Melchor Plabasan, deputy director of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), told local media that “a lot of the applications are progressing now,” albeit slowly due to the central bank’s two-tiered review process: The BSP first evaluates the company’s business model before requiring them to complete the documentary requirements.

So far, two companies—Rebittance and Bitour, or more commonly known as Coins.ph—were already approved to operate as virtual currency exchanges in the Philippines. These two firms, however, function as remittance companies and must comply with the central bank’s anti-money laundering regulations, technology risk management, and consumer protection measures, among other things.

BSP, which has been keeping close tabs on domestic cryptocurrency-related transactions since 2014, recorded an estimated $6 million in virtual currency transactions monthly, up from the $2 million-$3 million recorded between 2014 and 2015. This growing number of virtual currency remittances in the country has prompted the central bank to put out Circular No. 944, paving the way for virtual currency systems to be utilized as financial service systems, particularly for payments and remittance.

Plabasan previously described the circular as a “pioneering regulation”—one that placed the Philippines in the leagues of countries that are not frightened of harnessing innovation. Governments still have no ability to interfere with peer-to-peer transfers, but these countries’ move to regulate exchanges is definitely a boon to the cryptocurrency sector as it makes a bid for mainstream acceptance.

Plabasan, however, clarified that the central still does not endorse cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as currency, simply “because it is not a currency.”

“We only regulate bitcoin or virtual currencies when it is used in delivering financial services like remittance and payments,” Plabasan said, according to Reuters.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

12 exchanges wait for approval to operate in the Philippines

The central bank of the Philippines is reportedly reviewing applications from at least a dozen companies looking to start a virtual currency exchange operation, even though cryptocurrency use has yet to be regulated in the country.

Melchor Plabasan, deputy director of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), told local media that “a lot of the applications are progressing now,” albeit slowly due to the central bank’s two-tiered review process: The BSP first evaluates the company’s business model before requiring them to complete the documentary requirements.

So far, two companies—Rebittance and Bitour, or more commonly known as Coins.ph—were already approved to operate as virtual currency exchanges in the Philippines. These two firms, however, function as remittance companies and must comply with the central bank’s anti-money laundering regulations, technology risk management, and consumer protection measures, among other things.

BSP, which has been keeping close tabs on domestic cryptocurrency-related transactions since 2014, recorded an estimated $6 million in virtual currency transactions monthly, up from the $2 million-$3 million recorded between 2014 and 2015. This growing number of virtual currency remittances in the country has prompted the central bank to put out Circular No. 944, paving the way for virtual currency systems to be utilized as financial service systems, particularly for payments and remittance.

Plabasan previously described the circular as a “pioneering regulation”—one that placed the Philippines in the leagues of countries that are not frightened of harnessing innovation. Governments still have no ability to interfere with peer-to-peer transfers, but these countries’ move to regulate exchanges is definitely a boon to the cryptocurrency sector as it makes a bid for mainstream acceptance.

Plabasan, however, clarified that the central still does not endorse cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as currency, simply “because it is not a currency.”

“We only regulate bitcoin or virtual currencies when it is used in delivering financial services like remittance and payments,” Plabasan said, according to Reuters.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.