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David Drake

March 29, 2019 Article

Philippines in Crypto: How Innovation and Regulation is Boosting Industry Growth

The financial industry around the globe has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption. Continued acceptance of digital currencies by financial institutions in different countries is seen to further propel the growth of the crypto industry. One country that is demonstrating positive response to cryptos is the Philippines.

This Philippines has welcomed developments in this space and even adopted Innovations and regulations that make cryptocurrencies more usable. Just last month, one of Philippines' leading banks, Union bank, in association with the country's Central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, launched a two-way cryptocurrency ATM that allows users to convert local currency to digital currency, and vice versa.

Industry Protection
What’s more is that the regulatory environment in the Philippines has become conducive for crypto companies to operate. The Philippines central bank, which has a proactive approach to crypto regulations, has been regulating crypto exchanges as remitting companies while recognizing virtual coins as a legal way of making payments. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines has drafted regulations that are aimed at providing a structured and regulated environment for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

By and large, this ensures protection for both the crypto industry and citizens. To enforce these regulations, the government formed the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), which requires ICO creators to make available documentation containing important details about the issuer, the ICO project, recommendations and expert certification.

These developments in the Philippines are highly significant and are likely to propel expansion of the crypto industry in more ways than one. By launching the two way ATM, Union Bank will meet the budding needs of its clients who use digital currencies, enabling them to convert fiat money to digital currencies. This will ease the way transactions and payments are done.

Significant Step
According to Navjit Dhaliwal, CEO of Iagon, these advancements, coupled with superiority and innovation of the bank will boost Philippines' crypto industry in a big way.

He says, “With the budding growth of the economy throughout the country, these new development are set to increase the Philippines ability enhance their cryptocurrency sector. With Union Bank being among the top ten largest and most profitable banks in the entire country, their mark of approval will certainly push the market further. Moreover, the fact that this move will enable individuals to buy and sell their selected cryptocurrencies for cash, through this simple system, is a nod in the direction of innovative priorities that will enable and enhance overall growth.”

At the same time, the digital currency system has the capacity to transform how financial services are carried out, especially when it comes to remission of funds and payments. Its capacity to facilitate faster and cheaper transfer of funds both locally and internationally will further facilitate crypto business in the country.

Beyond these technological advancements, it is expected that Philippines' proactive regulatory framework will boost investor confidence. This will require that both government and crypto companies utilize active governance principles to grow the industry. The introduction of clear guidelines to safeguard clients and investors from scams is a good start. We hope the country continues this trajectory because if it does, we are likely to witness significant advancements in innovation and compliance within crypto industry in the coming years.

 Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.

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