Updated on April 30, 2019 to include more exchanges (and this table). Other texts, paragraphs, and photos in this article may still reflect the previous update.
Note: This article will only list crypto exchanges that have a virtual currency exchange license from the Philippines’ Central Bank.
The Philippines is becoming one of the top countries in the world that offers a good location to build blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. According to Mr. Brock Pierce, a blockchain advocate and cryptocurrency pioneer, the country is a great place to build such projects because of its English literacy, its enormous opportunities, and a huge unbanked population.
Additionally, the country’s regulators are open to adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Currently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – the country’s Central Bank, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are working towards regulating cryptocurrencies to protect the Filipino people.
Purchasing bitcoin and other virtual currencies in the country is now made easier through available cryptocurrency wallets such as Coins.ph. There are also other options such as buying it through a BTC ATM or even over the counter. These options have a set price per token. What if you want to set your own price for the coin you want to buy or sell? This is where open book cryptocurrency exchanges come in.
What is Cryptocurrency
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Cryptocurrency
- 2 Properties of Cryptocurrency
- 3 State of Cryptocurrencies in the Philippines
- 4 How to Buy, Sell, and Trade Crypto
- 5 What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange
- 6 Philippine Cryptocurrency Exchange
- 7 Overall
The first widely-known cryptocurrency is bitcoin that was introduced in 2009 by an unknown programmer Satoshi Nakamoto. He announced that he was able to create a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending.”
Bitcoin runs on a decentralized network, a public ledger, where every single transaction is recorded on a number of nodes. Who record these transactions? Miners. They do it by solving strong cryptography puzzles that are needed to confirm and record a transaction. After confirming it, it will then be sent to a network of nodes and add it to its database. Once it is confirmed and recorded, the transaction becomes irreversible.
With the creation of bitcoin, a long list of cryptos soon followed. Ethereum’s token, ether, is the second cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. If bitcoin is gold, ether is silver. (Although in the past, the “silver” is often associated with litecoin because both bitcoin and litecoin have the same use case.)
Read more: What is Cryptocurrency?
Properties of Cryptocurrency
There are three properties of cryptocurrency. These properties set it apart from the usual fiat currency. In order to further understand the token, you also need to know its properties.
- Revolutionary Property – A revolutionary invention. A digital currency that runs on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Secured by strong cryptography and math, and not by people or trust.
- Transactional Property – Cryptocurrency transactions are unique. It is immutable and cannot be changed unless certain conditions are fulfilled.
- Permissionless – You don’t need to ask permission from anybody to use cryptocurrency, mine, or even download necessary programs to run a node. It doesn’t need permission from central banks or governments.
- Anonymous – The only thing you will need in order to trade crypto to another is a public key or an address. It is either from a QR code or a string of random numbers and letters. It is impossible to connect real-world identities to the addresses*.
- Fast and Global – You can transfer bitcoin or any crypto to anybody in the world in just a couple of minutes without the need of using a bank or any other middleman. It runs on a network of computers and it will not matter if you will transfer crypto to your neighbor or to the other parts of the world.
- Secure – Cryptocurrency funds are locked using a strong cryptography system. Even though a user’s public key is out in the open, it can only be unlocked with their private key.
- Irreversible – Every transaction is irreversible. If you send it to the wrong address, there is no stopping it. There is no safety net and no one can reverse the transfer for you.
- Monetary Property – Cryptocurrencies also has monetary properties. Although, it is different than your usual fiat.
- No Debt – Unlike the numbers in your bank account that represents debts and a record of IOUs, cryptocurrencies are money and is as real as gold but only digital.
- Controlled Supply – Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin has a limited supply. It has a maximum of 21 million tokens. This is also the same to many other cryptocurrencies but the max number varies. Since bitcoin is likened to gold, it has a limited and finite supply. Other cryptocurrencies either have a controlled supply, limited supply, or finite supply.
State of Cryptocurrencies in the Philippines
The state of cryptocurrencies in the Philippines is looking bright. The two major regulators that are keeping their eyes open and focused on this new technology are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The BSP released its first advisory on virtual currencies in 2014. It informed the public about its features and risks in dealing with cryptocurrencies. After three years, in February 6, 2017, the regulator then released a circular concerning virtual currency exchanges that are more favorable towards crypto. This circular is called BSP Circular 944 where licensed companies are allowed to legally exchange fiat to cryptocurrency and vice versa.
The SEC, on the other hand, is also busy giving out advisories to the public about entities that use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for investment schemes (Click here for a list of SEC Advisories). The SEC is also developing draft rules on virtual currency exchanges. It noted that the BSP’s Virtual Currency Exchange (VCE) license does not include acting as a trading platform but is more on crypto to fiat transactions. It is also finalizing its rules on ICOs (initial coin offerings).
How to Buy, Sell, and Trade Crypto
In the Philippines, it is easy to buy bitcoin, sell, or trade. You can download an application like Coins.ph or Abra and then go to the nearest pawnshop or a 7-Eleven convenience store for cashing in. This is usually the most common way to buy BTC. There are also other ways to get cryptocurrency such as via bitcoin ATM, prepaid bitcoin, or even over the counter.
You can also buy, sell, and trade using a cryptocurrency trading platform. Usually, these exchanges use bitcoin as the primary trading pair. But Coins.ph’s Coins.pro (previously known as CX) have a direct PHP trading pair such as BCHPHP, ETHPHP, etc
What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency exchange is a trading platform where users can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. An online platform where users can exchange cryptocurrency to another cryptocurrency or fiat. These exchanges charge a fee for each transaction.
Types of Cryptocurrency Exchange:
- Traditional Cryptocurrency Exchanges – A platform where buyers and sellers trade cryptocurrencies based on the current market price. It usually charges a fee after each transaction.
- An example of this is GDAX and Kraken.
- Cryptocurrency Brokers – These are like your average money changers. You exchange your crypto to another crypto or to fiat. The price is set by the brokers.
- An example of this is Shapeshift and Changelly.
- Direct Trading Platforms – These are peer-to-peer trading between buyers and sellers. Unlike the traditional crypto exchanges, it doesn’t have a platform but instead does a direct exchange or over the counter exchange. Buyers and sellers can set their own price. If you’re going to use this kind of platform, make sure to check the current market price of the crypto before making a trade.
- An example of this is LocalBitcoins.
- Cryptocurrency Funds – These are pools of funds that are professionally managed cryptocurrency assets.
Philippine Cryptocurrency Exchange
List of Cryptocurrency Exchange Philippines
|Crypto Exchange||Status||(Currently) Supported Cryptocurrencies*|
|B-Expro / B-Express||Not Yet Live||BTC, ETH (to PHP)|
|Coins Pro||Live||BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP (to PHP)|
|Coinvil||Website Live||BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, VRG, CSMT (to PHP)|
|Citadax||Not Yet Live||BTC, ETH (to PHP)|
|GOW Exchange||Not Yet Live||BTC (to PHP)**|
|Juan Exchange||Website Live||BTC, ETH, USDT (to PHP)|
|PDAX||Beta||BTC, XRP, LTC, BCH, ETH (to PHP)|
|VHCEX||Live||BTC, ETH, VHC, VHW, OSE, HWGL, OVO, XEM, OSV, REVS (to PHP)|
*based on what’s listed on their website or what they confirmed with our website BitPinas. **assumption only as we have not seen reports of what GOW will support.
First on the list is Coins.ph’s Coins Pro. It is available to Coins.ph users.
Using your Coins.ph account, you can transfer PHP from the Coins app to Coins Pro. In order to transfer funds from your Coins.ph wallet to your Coins.pro account, you have to go to Coins.ph’s Pay Bills then scroll down up to Exchange. Choose whether to send your PHP, BTC, ETH, BCH, or XRP. Put the amount you’re comfortable with and proceed.
Coins Pro also allows users to trade fiat to bitcoin cash, ripple, litecoin (soon), and ethereum. Because it is connected to Coins.ph, users can easily fund their Coins.pro accounts via 7-eleven, GCash, and partner banks.
Official Website: https://pro.coins.asia/
The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) recently received its VCE license from the BSP in September 2018.
PDAX said it will utilize the same order-matching technology used in stock exchanges to match buyers and sellers.
PDAX users can trade pesos for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ripple, and litecoin. More coins are set to be announced soon. PDAX also listed 7-eleven, GCASH, the SM Store, and partner banks as ways to fund user accounts.
Official Website: https://pdax.ph/
Citadax is a cryptocurrency exchange platform by SCI Ventures, the company behind buybitcoin.ph, bitbit.cash, and rebit.ph. Not much is known about Citadax at the moment, but its website currently allows users to join the waitlist.
Official Website: https://citadax.com/
In 2018, VHCEX (operating under Virtual Currency Philippines Inc) has received the virtual currency license from the BSP. The site has markets for BTC, ETH, VHC, VHW, OSE, HWGL, OVO, XEM, OSV, REVS, as well as PHP trading pairs like BTC/PHP, ETH/PHP, XEM/PHP, etc.
Juan Exchange (operating under Zybi Tech) has received a license to operate a virtual currency exchange in 2018. The website has PHP, BTC, USDT, and ETH markets.
B-Express already operates an over-the-counter bitcoin service but recently received a license from the BSP this March 2019. In an interview, B-Express said one of its main focus is the development of its app to ensure their customers will have a smooth trading experience on mobile phones.
Coinvil (Coinville) received its virtual currency license in March 2019. In an interview with BitPinas, it plans to introduce more blockchain projects to the Philippines and help introduce local projects to its partners abroad, particularly in South Korea.
Note: This list doesn’t include cryptocurrency exchanges that will operate in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). CEZA-based cryptocurrency exchange will service users outside the Philippines.
Having cryptocurrency exchanges based in the country will let Filipinos trade their Philippine fiat to cryptocurrency without needing to use a foreign crypto exchange. This will save the Filipino users money in terms of fees as they no longer need to trade their fiat to BTC and then make a trade.
With the rate SEC and BSP are going with their regulations, they are giving the Filipino users more confidence and security in doing cryptocurrency trades. These regulations not only give security but they help spread awareness while promoting innovation.
- List of Licensed Offshore Cryptocurrency Exchanges from the Philippines CEZA
- List of Blockchain Events in the Philippines
- You just bought some coins? Here’s where to store them safely.
- List of Licensed Virtual Currency Exchanges
- List of Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the Philippines
- List of CEZA-Approved Offshore Crypto Exchanges
- List of Cryptocurrency Wallets
- List of Bitcoin Wallets
- List of LoyalCoin Partners
- Philippines Blockchain Business Directory
- List of Philippine Blockchain Events
- Bitcoin to PHP
- Cryptocurrency Charts in Pesos
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- Invest in bitcoins (or in any altcoins) only the amount you can afford to lose!
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- Before investing in any cryptocurrency, check the people behind it, its mission, and other details to ensure that they are worth investing for. Don’t invest in something you don’t know.
- This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an investment advice. Your actions are solely your own responsibility. There is no substitute for doing your own research. This website is not responsible for any losses you may incur, nor will it claim attribution for your gains.