BitPinas.With Cryptocurrency usage on the rise in the Philippines, the BSP mandates apps like Coins.ph and Bitbit to observe the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Law.
What is AML? (Anti-Money Laundering)
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Money Laundering is a process of making “dirty money” (money from illegal transactions etc) appear clean (legal). Usually, the culprits deposit the money to a bank using different accounts. Once the money is in the bank (technically within the country’s financial system), the money will then appear legal and clean.
The Anti-Money Laundering or AML in the Philippines was established to make sure this will not happen. The country created an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to ensure that the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) is being observed by those within the financial industry.
- If you’re into news, you might remember the RCBC Money Laundering Scam and how the Senate hearing dragged through local channels.
AML Philippines & the Bitcoin Apps in the Country
Coins.ph, Bitbit.cash, and every bitcoin site in the Philippines implement KYC in accordance to AML. (Read: KYC in the Philippines)
“We are doing this because it might be a venue for money laundering and since it is electronic, it may be hacked so we are regulating the virtual currency exchange.” – Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., BSP Deputy Governor
What does this mean?
The AML is the reason why we have to submit documents such as Government ID, utility bills, credit card bills, etc in order to get verified in Coins.ph, etc. If you remember, sites like Coins and BuyBitcoin have verification levels. You can transact up to a certain Pesos only depending on the document and identification you submit. For example, at Coins.ph, you can only cash in up to Php 50,000. But a level 3 account allows you to transact up to Php 400,000. (Read: Coins.ph Limits and Verification Levels).
- AML stands for Anti-Money Laundering. AMLA is the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
- Money Laundering happens when a dirty money enters a legitimate financial institution to make it look clean and legal.
- AMLA discourages money launderers to enter the Philippines.
- With AML and KYC included in Bitbit.cash and Coins.ph, this restricts the users from doing transactions unless verified.
Although it breaks the whole anonymity of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, BSP just wants to make sure that the growing industry will not be an instrument in funding terrorism and other illegal transactions in the country. If you don’t plan on using digital currency to move illegal money into the Philippines, you don’t have anything to worry.
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