New Virtual Currency Policies Coming to the Philippines

Philippine Central Bank Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla reported last June that the Philippines central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), was preparing new guidelines towards Bitcoin businesses in the area. Now the BSP deputy governor, Nestor Espenilla, has published a circular (BSP Circular ???944) that defines the government’s position concerning Bitcoin operations. In the document, the BSP says that it aims to regulate virtual monies that apply to remittance platforms and all payment systems. Essentially, it applies to any operation that may have »material impact on anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), consumer protection and financial stability, » explains the BSP.

The central bank will begin implementing the regulations and rules which govern operations of digital currency exchanges in two weeks and bitcoin casino binary options. The BSP circular notes that the guidelines aren’t endorsements of other and bitcoin digital currenciesinvest in bitcoin casino bitcoin casino free play However, the Bank does recognize that money solutions have potential. The governor’s circular states:

Bangko Sentral recognizes that Virtual Currency (VC) systems have the potential to revolutionize delivery of financial services, especially for payments and remittance, in view of their ability to provide faster and cheaper transfer of capital, both domestic and global, and may further encourage financial inclusion.

Bitcoin Remittance Expert Weighs In

Bitcoin remittance specialist Luis Buenaventura

Following the BSP circular statement, Bitcoin remittance expert Luis Buenaventura revealed his opinion of policies and the bank’s definitions. By studying strategies and startups in the space like Abra and Bitspark buenaventura has done extensive research on the relationship of Bitcoin with remittances. In his view, the most recent guidelines in the Philippines define all virtual money exchanges to be treated as companies.

« It certainly appears like the intention is to treat any business handling Bitcoin as a remittance agent, even if remittances aren’t the principal goal of that company, » explains Buenaventura.

The new guidelines do not offer any concessions for order-book exchanges which don’t have any international footprint, nor do they clarify the situation for sole proprietors buying and selling BTC on Localbitcoins. I’m unsure what kind of impact this will have on the Bitcoin startups operating within our borders, but I expect that it will not put the brakes.

The Central Bank is Learning About Bitcoin, But Definitions Are Too Wide

The Bitcoin business within the Philippines will have to wait and see how these policies take effect in the countryOshi best bitcoin casinow Buenaventura states bitcoin exchanges and remittance startups have made plenty of progress since 2013, but still have a ways to go. Furthermore, he’s encouraged that the BSP spent plenty of time learning about Bitcoin, but the central bank has »vastly overestimated just how much of it is actually used for remittances. »

« From one angle, it’s very good news that the government is finally recognizing that we exist and admit that our efforts do have a positive social impact on the country, » Buenaventura adds.

What do you think about the Philippine central bank regulating Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Pictures via Shutterstock, BSP, Medium, and Pixabay. 

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