On April 25, 2018, the chief of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) revealed that a collection of blockchain and cryptocurrency companies may soon set up shop in Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport located in the Philippines. "We are about to license 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange," chief Raul Lambino told Reuters. "They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, [and] Koreans."
The companies, he said, "can go into cryptocurrency mining, initial coin offerings, or they can go into exchange." Although CEZA paved the way for digital asset exchange platforms by legalizing them in February, Lambino noted that to avoid regulatory issues, trades between fiat money and cryptocurrency must be conducted offshore.
According to the rules established by CEZA, the approved companies are expected to invest a minimum of $1 million over the course of two years and spend $100,000 in licensing fees. Lambino also said that CEZA has considered creating a blockchain and FinTech university in the zone to train future employees for the companies.
In March, a senator in the Philippines submitted SB1694, a bill which proposed increasing penalties for "crimes involving cryptocurrencies."