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 released a circular (BSP Circular ???944) that defines the government’s position concerning Bitcoin operations. In the document, the BSP states that it intends to regulate virtual currencies that apply to remittance platforms and all payment systems. Basically, 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 start implementing the regulations and rules which govern operations of virtual currency exchanges in two weeks and bitcoin casino binary options. The BSP circular notes that the guidelines are not endorsements of other and bitcoin digital currenciesbitcoin casino free witdraw bitcoin casino usa bonus code However, the Bank does recognize that currency options have great potential. The deputy governor states:

Bangko Sentral admits that Virtual Currency (VC) systems have the potential to revolutionize delivery of financial services, particularly for payments and remittance, in view of their capacity to provide faster and more economical transfer of funds, both domestic and global, and might further support financial inclusion.

Bitcoin Remittance Expert Weighs In

Bitcoin remittance specialist Luis Buenaventura

After the BSP announcement, Bitcoin remittance specialist Luis Buenaventura revealed his opinion of the definitions and policies of the bank. By studying strategies and startups in the crypto-remittance area like Abra and Bitspark, buenaventura has done extensive research on the relationship of Bitcoin with remittances. In his opinion, the latest guidelines in the Philippines define all currency exchanges to be treated as companies.

« It certainly appears like the intention is to treat any business handling Bitcoin for a remittance agent, even though remittances are not the principal goal of that firm, » explains Buenaventura.

The new guidelines don’t offer any concessions for order-book exchanges which have no international footprint, nor do they explain the situation for sole proprietors buying and selling BTC on Localbitcoins. I expect that it will not put the brakes on the innovative momentum that has been building up over the last few years, although I’m unsure what kind of effect this will have on the Bitcoin startups operating within our borders.

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

The Bitcoin business within the Philippines will have to wait and see how these policies take effect in the countrycasinos bonuses bitcoin deposit casino games gametwist casino Buenaventura states bitcoin exchanges and remittance startups have made plenty of progress but still have a ways to go. Furthermore, he is encouraged that the BSP spent a lot of time learning about Bitcoin, however, the central bank has »vastly overestimated how much of it is actually used for remittances. »

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

What do you consider the Philippine central bank regulating Bitcoin? Tell us in the comments below!

Pictures via Shutterstock, BSP, Medium, and Pixabay. 

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