Market Today

Two new Crypto-Exchanges Approved by Philippines Central Bank
Editorial Team

According to a report of, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines’’ Central Bank, authorized two new cryptocurrency exchanges to process conversions between cryptocurrencies and the Philippine peso.

BSP’s deputy governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said the Philippines central has approved applications filed by Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. and ETranss as platforms, reports the Philippine Star.

This move leads the total number of approved and regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to five. So far, there are currently 29 pending applications for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Fonacier said the regulator may no longer require applicants operating cryptocurrency exchanges to also secure electronic money issuer (EMI) licenses, easing up the process.

“There are some refinements. This may entail additional requirement but not automatically an EMI license,” she said.

In the country, the cryptocurrency activity has increased in the past months. Latest data from the BSP indicated that the trading volume between cryptocurrencies and the
Philippine peso averaged US$36.74 million per month in the first quarter of 2018.

The BSP was set up a formal regulatory framework from cryptocurrency exchanges through Circular 944 dated February 6, 2017. This requires exchanges to register with the BSP as remittance and transfer companies. E companies are also required to establish safeguards to address the crypto-related risks including control measures to avoid money laundering and terrorist financing, technology risk management systems, and consumer protection.

In the northern tip of the Philippines, the Cagayan Special Economy Zone has been working towards becoming an attractive location for Blockchain startups and a “Fintech City.”

According to the report of, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the state agency which manages the special economic zone, will be opened to the 25 cryptocurrency exchange operators in its tax-friendly jurisdiction.

Each exchange will only have sub-licenses of as many as 20 to 30 traders or brokers and will be required to initially invest US$1 million within two years.

CEZA’s administrator and CEO Raul L. Lambino said citizens living in the Philippines will not be allowed to invest or trade in ICOs.