Crypto Currency Transactions Steady in the Philippines

A report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipanas (BSP) has revealed that Philippine’s crypto currency has steadily grown to an approximate $40 million per month in the first quarter of 2018. This steady growth follows a move by the BSP whose objective was to ensure regulation among digital currency businesses such as Bitcoin and Etherium. These are the businesses that primarily offer cash to virtual conversion in the Philippine market.

Reporting on this change, the BSP Governer, Chuchi G Fonacier, said that the data was reported by two of the country’s companies accredited by the BSP to conduct digital currency exchange. These are Virtual Exchanges Rebittance Inc and Betur Inc.

“The conversions from the digital currency to the local currency averaged $36.74 each month in the first quarter on this year from the largest crypto currency exchange operators in the Philippines.”

Although in the fourth quarter of 2017, the market reported $38.27 in transactions; the news is a relief as this is a sharp rise to monthly estimates between January and June last year.

The bank has since awarded accreditation to an additional company; Bloom Solutions to conduct digital currency exchange.

Regulation Background

Prior to regulation, the BSP, stated that while crypto currencies like Bitcoin and other forms of digital currencies eased business transactions because they are faster and cheaper; they could be used for crime related transactions and therefore bear a huge risk in terms of cyber security.

“Bitcoin is like any other monetized instrument and even an investment instrument. There are risks, but essentially it can be managed. If you want something that is fast, near real-time and convenient, then there’s the benefit of using virtual currencies like Bitcoin,” said BSP Deputy Director, Melchor Plabasan.

The policy regulation, which the BSP was working on in partnership with the Securities and Exchange Commission, took effect in February 2017. It was also working towards regulating the use the digital currencies as investment platforms.

To strengthen this measure further, the Anti –Money Laundering Council has also put in place additional regulations and monitoring mechanisms to counter money launderings. The objective of these regulations and measures is therefore to protect the Philippines citizens form huge financial losses and safeguard the country’s economy.