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Coins.ph secures EPFS license from Philippines central bank

Philippines-based digital asset exchange Coins.ph has obtained an Advanced Electronic Payment and Financial Services (EPFS) license as it transitions towards mainstream financial offerings.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines central bank, granted Coins.ph the license after the firm satisfied the requirements. Apart from certifying its foray into traditional financial space, the EPFS license will give Coins.ph the status of an order book exchange, showing buy and sell prices in real-time.

“Being granted an advanced EPFS license is a huge milestone for Coins.ph and solidifies our position as the most trusted crypto platform in the Philippines. We have always been committed to working with regulators to ensure appropriate oversight of this fast-growing industry at the intersection of technology and finance,” Wei Zhou, Coins.ph CEO, said.

Wei added that the newly received license would provide users with increased levels of transparency while providing an intuitive trading experience for users. Wei disclosed that Coins Pro, the firm’s proprietary order book exchange, will be upgraded as part of the requirements to maintain the license’s validity.

The license issuance made history as Coins.ph became the first virtual asset service provider (VASP) in the country to be given the EPFS license. Traditionally, BSP reserves the license for commercial banks and other financial institutions that have met the central bank’s stringent requirements.

“We truly appreciate the sincere effort that the BSP’s leadership has made to understand the digital assets space in order to craft well-thought-out rules that protect consumers while encouraging innovation. “We’re excited to continue leading the development of this industry as a responsible player,” Wei said.

Coins.ph obtained VASP licenses and electronic money issuer licenses in 2017, making it one of the first digital asset service providers in the Philippines. In 2016, the company was recognized as an authorized remittance and transfer agent.

Bringing the Philippines one step closer to a digital paradise

The Philippines government has been making significant strides in transforming the digital economy of the country. The BSP is leading the charge, looking to make digital payments account for 50% of all transactions.

Aside from the ambitions for increasing digital payments, the BSP is also mulling over the ambitious plan to make the Philippines a cashless society by 2025.

Despite the grand plans, the central bank does not see virtual currencies playing an integral role, as it has repeatedly warned investors about the risks associated with the asset class. BSP Governor Felipe Medalla seized the opportunity provided by FTX’s collapse to warn over the lack of investors’ protection in the ecosystem.

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