Philippines Central Bank Approves Licenses For Two Cryptocurrency Exchanges

On August 19, 2017, the Philippine Star reported that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has granted two cryptocurrency companies licenses to operate bitcoin exchanges. At the FinTech Thought Leadership Roundtable Series presented by FINTQ, Nestor Espenilla Jr., governor of BSP, spoke about the dramatic growth of the digital currency industry and emphasized the importance of oversight.

“We see a rapid increase in the trajectory [of virtual currency]. It is coming from a small base but increasing. That is why we decided to require [the exchanges] to register.” Espenilla added that the exchanges are locally based but have international roots.

In January 2017, BSP issued Circular 944, providing guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges. In order to offer cryptocurrency exchange services, businesses must register as remittance and transfer companies operating as VC exchanges.

Espenilla also expressed concerns about technological security, a significant matter as the volume of cryptocurrency exchange grows. The BSP will soon release new guidance on its information technology risk management framework (Circular 808).

ETHNews previously covered the BSP’s regulation to prevent virtual currency money laundering and terrorism financing.