Business World has reported that, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines Central Bank shows that the Philippines digital currency space is on a steady and healthy increase with cryptocurrency conversion reaching $40 million in recent months.
BSP cryptocurrency friendly policy
Chuchi G. Fonacier, the Deputy Governor of BSP, mentioned that change of digital currencies to the local currency averaged to $36.74 million per month in the first quarter of this year. This data was cited from two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange traders in the country during that time. The BSP used data announced by virtual currency (VC) exchanges Rebittance, Inc. and Betur, Inc. aka Coins.ph, the first two crypto exchanges accredited by the BSP. The Central Bank later registered Bloom Solutions as a valid digital currency exchange.
Comparatively, the amount decreased from $38.27 million monthly average in the last quarter of 2017 when Bitcoin prices neared $20,000. This figure still represented a sharp rise from the approximated average monthly cryptocurrency transactions to around $8.8 million from January to June of 2017.
BSP principles and the technology’s risks
The BSP implemented laws regulating the conversion of fiat currency to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, beginning February last year by asking for requirements for risk management and removing the risk against money laundering.
The country’s financial policy maker knows the advantages of cryptocurrencies, especially the convenience and speed the platform gives, as well as cheaper way to transfer or move money (value). Nevertheless the nascent technology is also exposed to many types of risks such as money laundering, hacking threats, and other cybercrimes.
In December last year, Fonacier mentioned that the BSP is operating with the country’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, to developing a unified regulation on digital currencies like Bitcoin – when used as investments.
Previously, Melchor Plabasan, the director of BSP showed confidence in that the country’s market regulators could regulate the risks introduced by digital currencies. He added that Bitcoin is similar to any other monetized instrument in addition to an investment instrument. There are dangers, but are essentially manageable. If one wants something that is fast, in real-time and convenient, then there is an advantage of using digital currencies like Bitcoin.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council introduced several principles to govern the movement of dirty money and cryptocurrencies by tighter tracking of activities and requiring crypto exchanges to report any suspicious deals.