Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday. Additional reporting by Michael Mislos and Michael Lance Domagas.
Global exchange Binance will push through with acquiring a virtual asset services provider (VASP) and electronic money issuers (EMI) licenses by acquiring a local company, Binance Philippines General Manager Kenneth Stern at a roundtable with the media that was also attended by BitPinas.
When asked on whether Binance is affected by the three-year moratorium of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on issuing licenses:
“No we are not affected because we’re acquiring a license through an existing company, so the company that we are acquiring is already licensed,” Stern said.
BitPinas contributor Michael Lance Domagas asked Stern as to who will own the license once Binance acquired the licensed firm, the general manager said he cannot disclose but mentioned they might be the first high-profile case in the country that obtained a license via an acquisition.
As to whether or not they will acquire two separate firms, wherein one firm has the VASP and the other has the EMI, here’s what Stern said.
“We are acquiring a single entity that has [both] the licenses,“ he mentioned.
Stern also said they are in “late stage” in acquiring the licenses but declined to disclose timelines as to where exactly the current negotiations.
Presently, users in the Philippines can access Binance.com. When asked how the licenses will affect or change the business of the global exchange in the Philippines, Stern said they are also discussing this with the BSP.
“Right now we’re operating under a .com, anyone around the world can access Binance.com. But we’re only operating in a peer-to-peer model. We are working with the central bank on how we will roll out once we’re licensed.“
Another reporter asked whether it will be under a Binance.PH domain, Stern said that is also a potential model they could do.
A VASP license is a regulatory requirement to allow entities that facilitate exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies, virtual assets to virtual assets, custody, or transfer of virtual assets to operate in the country.
Acquiring a local company with the licenses might be the only way for Binance to legally operate in the country as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) officially imposed a ban on VASP license applications last month.
This is after Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier signed a memorandum stating that companies will not be able to apply for a VASP license for three years, beginning September 1, 2022. (Read more: BSP Imposes Ban on VASP License Application)
Binance recently co-organized with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center under the Department of Information and Communications Technology to hold a seminar to tackle common cybercrime activities that are involved in the cryptocurrency space. (Read more: Binance, CICC Conduct Blockchain Forensics Seminar for PH Agencies to Fight Crypto Crime)
“Binance has been actively working with the Philippine government to ensure that Filipinos are ready for cryptocurrency adoption through the mitigation of risks in the sector… While we ensure that our platform has robust security and Know Your Customer (KYC) measures in place, we also want to aid the government in creating a fertile ground for fintech players to drive financial inclusion,” he concluded.
During the session of the Senate’s Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies last month. Binance pledged to help the country’s universities offer courses and professional certificates in blockchain, crypto, and web3. (Read more: Binance Participates in Senate Hearing)
Prior to this, in line with the visit Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance, in the country, he announced the Binance Scholarship in the Philippines, where the exchange will be engaging with the country’s universities to recruit interns, and after the students graduate, they can be welcomed to the company. (Read more: CZ Reveals Plans to Sponsor Filipino Students)
For other news, check out the timeline of events here:
- (June 8) CZ visited the Philippines and talked to PH Media re: Binance expansion.
- (June 8) CZ said they intend to obtain a local crypto license.
- (June 9) Then Finance Secretary Dominguez said Binance is not yet registered and they are monitoring it.
- (June 10) Binance Scholarship for Filipinos.
- (June 15) Infrawatch PH sent a letter to the BSP asking it to ban and suspend the exchange for illegally operating here.
- (June 16) Binance responds: “We are open to discussions”.
- (June 16) Binance is hiring 2,000 more people.
- (July 7) Infrawatch Letter to DTI.
- (July 7) Binance Answers New Infrawatch Letter.
- (July 11) DTI Responds.
- (July 26) Infrawatch sends letter to SEC.
- (August 4) SEC responds, cautioning the public not to invest with Binance.
- (August 9) Binance says acquiring license is a priority
- (September 20) Binance is targetting to acquire a PH Firm to secure VASP License
This article is published on BitPinas: Binance Exec Reveals Plans to Acquire PH Firm that Will Secure VASP License
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.