Business

Dennis Wafula

Philippines central bank approves two crypto exchanges

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, announced that it had approved two more cryptocurrency exchanges. This brings the total number of approved firms in the country to 13.

Melchor Plabasan, officer-in-charge of the Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department at the BSP, gave the report. He stated that BSP approved two companies, Atomtrans Tech Corp. and Tokyo-based Telcoin Corp. to operate as virtual exchanges in the region.

Atomtrans Tech Corp. International is a financial service with its headquarters at Manila. The company was founded in 2017 and has branches in other countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Argentina. Since its launch, the company has launched various products including ATC Remittance, ATC Digital Currency Exchange, and ATC Payment.

The company has achieved a lot in the last couple of year. Atomtrans has a strategic cooperation agreement with China UnionPay Electronic Payment Co., Ltd. and UnionBank of the Philippines. Currently, it is also exclusively representing Philippine-China remittance products.

Other approved VC exchanges include Bexpress, Coinville Phils., A BloomSolutions, Virtual Currency Philippines, ETranss Remittance International, BA Global Phils., Betur (Coins.ph), Rebittance, Fyntegrate, ZyBi Tech, and Bitan MoneyTech Co. Ltd. Inc.

Authorities in the countries have exercised great caution when it comes to crypto businesses. The law in the Philippines provides that all virtual exchanges should register with the BSP. They should also register with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and submit regular reports regarding their overall finances and transactions.

Earlier in June, the central bank expresses its concerns on cryptocurrencies by stating that it is still “lukewarm” on the industry. This might explain its reluctance in approving more firms on the space. A senior official at BSP stated:

“We have to be open to innovation except that we also have a responsibility to consumers. Let’s give it another three to five years.”

In addition, last month, the central bank issued a memo warning banks to be more vigilant when handling crypto businesses. In the memo, the deputy governor of the BSP, Chuchi Fonacier reminded banks to only transact with registered exchanges. The memo read:

“As a safeguard against unregistered virtual currency exchanges, BSP-supervised financial institutions, upon onboarding and during transaction monitoring, should exercise extra caution and vigilance as well as perform enhanced due diligence, as necessary, in accordance with their Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Program as prescribed under existing regulation.”

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