Local Philippines media outlet Philstar Global is reporting that a couple of cryptocurrency exchanges have obtained authorization from the country’s central bank. This development follows similar approvals gotten by close to a dozen platforms in recent time. Several countries in Southeast Asia continue to adopt a friendly approach towards the industry making the region a popular destination for crypto businesses.
Two Fresh Competitors
Atomtrans Tech Corp and Telcoin Corp have received licenses to operate cryptocurrency exchange platforms from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) — Philippines’ apex bank. The country now has 13 approved crypto exchanges under the purview of the central bank’s Monetary Board.
Based out of Japan, Telcoin runs on the Ethereum blockchain and already has a significant mobile digital payments presence. The company has even developed a blockchain platform based on Ethereum.
Atomtrans, a local fintech company also holds a banking license from the BSP. The company operates a remittance platform and sees the move towards crypto as a way of expanding its presence in the digital payments market.
These two newly licensed exchanges now join 11 others in competing for market share in the expanding virtual currency trading market in the Philippines. Other participants include Bloomsolutions, Fyntegrate, Bexpress, and Rebittance.
Reports indicate that over two million Filipino’s have some exposure to cryptocurrencies. Many experts from places like Japan, China, and South Korea have even moved into the country to leverage their expertise in building the emerging digital economy in the country.
Philippines Keen on Promoting Crypto Commerce
Earlier in the year, BTCManager reported that authorities in the Philippines were taking concrete steps to formalize the crypto sector in the country. These moves included the creation of a well-defined regulatory framework for the industry.
Apart from the 13 approved exchange platforms, there are also close to 40 other exchanges licensed by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) which is owned by the country’s government.
The exchanges licensed by CEZA fall under two broad categories — those only allowed to conduct offshore crypto trading activities, and those allowed to also operate as offshore fintech businesses.
Apart from the Philippines, other countries in Southeast Asia are becoming increasingly cryptocurrency-friendly. The likes of Thailand and Singapore are also seeing an influx and expansion of their local crypto-commerce as businesses continue to search for enabling regulatory environments for their businesses.