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 companies in the area. Now the BSP deputy governor, Nestor Espenilla, has released a round (BSP Circular ???944) that defines the government’s position concerning Bitcoin operations. In the document, the BSP states that it intends to regulate virtual monies that are relevant 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 start implementing the regulations and rules which govern operations of virtual currency exchanges in a couple of weeks and bitcoin casino binary choices . The BSP circular notes that the guidelines aren’t endorsements of other and bitcoin currenciesbitcoin casino stock market bitcoin website new casino provably fair However, the Bank does recognize that currency options have potential. The deputy governor states:

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

Bitcoin Remittance Expert Weighs In

Bitcoin remittance specialist Luis Buenaventura

Following the recent BSP circular announcement, Bitcoin remittance specialist Luis Buenaventura revealed his view of the definitions and policies of the bank. Buenaventura has done extensive research on Bitcoin’s relationship by studying strategies and startups in the crypto-remittance area like Bitspark and Abra. In his view, the most recent guidelines in the Philippines define all virtual money exchanges to be treated as businesses.

“It certainly appears like the purpose is to take care of any business handling Bitcoin for a remittance agent, even though remittances aren’t the principal purpose of that company,” explains Buenaventura.

The new guidelines do not 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, although I’m unsure what sort of effect this will have on the Bitcoin startups operating within our borders.

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

The business within the Philippines will have to wait and see how these policies take effect in the countryCloudBet review Buenaventura states bitcoin exchanges and remittance startups have made plenty of progress but still have a ways to go. Furthermore, he’s encouraged that the BSP spent plenty 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 is good news that the government is finally recognizing that we exist and admit that our efforts do have a positive social impact on our country,” 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. 

Do you want to discuss bitcoin at a comfortable (and censorship-free) environment? Check out the Forums — all of the big players in Bitcoin have posted there, and we welcome all opinions.