New Bitcoin rules in the Philippines to make remittances easier

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The Philippine central bank approved new rules and regulations governing the operation of virtual currency exchanges, including those for the most widely used cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The bank said it recognises that virtual currency systems have “the potential to revolutionise” the delivery of financial services, “particularly for payments and remittance, in view of their ability to provide faster and more economical transfer of funds, both domestic and international, and may further support financial inclusion.”

However, the bank does not intend to endorse any virtual currency such as Bitcoin as a currency per se, “since it is neither issued or guaranteed by a central bank nor backed by any commodity.”

In any case, the new regulations will make it certainly easier and cheaper for oversea Filipinos to send money home. Last year, around 2.5 Oversea Filipino Workers sent almost $30 billion back home, most of them using bank transfers or conventional money transfer companies such as MoneyGram and Western Union,  which are notoriously expensive.

As of late, more and more Filipinos resorted to using Bitcoin as a mode for remittances which makes sending money as simple as sending an email and is the least expensive way to transfer cash around the globe.

The Philippines with its poor banking infrastructure coupled with high smartphone adoption rates is an ideal market for Bitcoin and has been a global leader in growth of Bitcoin remittances since 2013, when payment service Coins.ph and Rebit began competing in the popular local remittance market. The peer-to-peer market Localbitcoins also has a large and growing trade volume.

From now on, more of those companies are likely to pop up. Firms wanting to provide virtual currency-based remittance and exchange services in teh Philippines simply have to apply for a Certificate of Registration. Apart from that, exchanges will also need to register with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat, the central bank says, and while currently unspecified, exchanges will also be subject to “annual service fees”.

Other provisions are that exchanges providing wallet services for holding, storing and transferring virtual currencies, an effective cyber security program encompassing storage and transaction security requirements has to be in place. It is expected the new regulation will go into effect on February 21, 2017.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine central bank approved new rules and regulations governing the operation of virtual currency exchanges, including those for the most widely used cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine central bank approved new rules and regulations governing the operation of virtual currency exchanges, including those for the most widely used cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The bank said it recognises that virtual currency systems have “the potential to revolutionise” the delivery of financial services, “particularly for payments and remittance, in view of their ability to provide faster and more economical transfer of funds, both domestic and international, and may further support financial inclusion.”

However, the bank does not intend to endorse any virtual currency such as Bitcoin as a currency per se, “since it is neither issued or guaranteed by a central bank nor backed by any commodity.”

In any case, the new regulations will make it certainly easier and cheaper for oversea Filipinos to send money home. Last year, around 2.5 Oversea Filipino Workers sent almost $30 billion back home, most of them using bank transfers or conventional money transfer companies such as MoneyGram and Western Union,  which are notoriously expensive.

As of late, more and more Filipinos resorted to using Bitcoin as a mode for remittances which makes sending money as simple as sending an email and is the least expensive way to transfer cash around the globe.

The Philippines with its poor banking infrastructure coupled with high smartphone adoption rates is an ideal market for Bitcoin and has been a global leader in growth of Bitcoin remittances since 2013, when payment service Coins.ph and Rebit began competing in the popular local remittance market. The peer-to-peer market Localbitcoins also has a large and growing trade volume.

From now on, more of those companies are likely to pop up. Firms wanting to provide virtual currency-based remittance and exchange services in teh Philippines simply have to apply for a Certificate of Registration. Apart from that, exchanges will also need to register with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat, the central bank says, and while currently unspecified, exchanges will also be subject to “annual service fees”.

Other provisions are that exchanges providing wallet services for holding, storing and transferring virtual currencies, an effective cyber security program encompassing storage and transaction security requirements has to be in place. It is expected the new regulation will go into effect on February 21, 2017.

 

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