Philippine Central Bank Accredits Two New Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippine central bank, has approved applications filed by two new crypto exchanges, Business World reported July 6.
Chuchi G. Fonacier, the deputy governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), reportedly said that the bank has approved the applications of ETranss and Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc., accrediting them as new platforms. With this move, the two crypto exchanges can legally convert Philippine pesos to cryptocurrencies.
BSP has recognized the cryptocurrencies for their potential to provide cheaper and faster transactions to customers but still remains cautious of its potential risks, such as cybersecurity, money laundering, criminal involvement, and crypto volatility.
The central bank had previously considered whether new crypto exchanges should acquire an “e-money license” because they provide wallet services to their users. The deputy governor said:
“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.”
The Anti-Money Laundering Council will begin observing cryptocurrency transactions closely in an attempt to crack down on black money. Companies will be obliged to report any transactions raising suspicion as well as covered transactions.
According to the news outlet, over the past few years, conversions from peso to cryptocurrencies have grown significantly. The amount totalled around $36mln per month in the first quarter covering transactions from two registered cryptocurrency transactions.
The Philippine government announced in April that it will allow ten crypto and blockchain firms to operate in the CEZ (Cagayan Economic Zone). These companies are expected to generate employment in the economy in exchange for the tax breaks given by the government.
In November last year, the Philippines’ SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) said it was considering legalizing the use of cryptocurrencies in the country by “classifying them as securities”. Earlier the same year, the central bank recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method.
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