Community Reacts: What Does a BSP-Regulated Binance Will Mean for the Philippines

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Editing and additional information by Michael Mislos

Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ, CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, announced that the firm is planning to procure licenses from the financial regulators in the Philippines.

CZ stressed that the country is “super important” because Filipinos already know crypto and that the country has an advanced payment system.

Thus, Binance wanting to have a localized service in the country will mean needing to secure the virtual assets service provider (VASP) license and the e-money issuer (EMI) licenses from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank.

We reached out to the community and ask what they think about Binance getting a BSP crypto license (VASP) in the Philippines.

What are the benefits of Binance Obtaining a VASP in the Philippines?

1) A more frictionless customer experience for Filipinos

Michael Calma, Country Manager of Advance.AI, a financial technology company, said that all he sees are advantages, stating that it is better for the industry and the consumer to have more exchanges in the country with VASP license.

There are currently 19 VASP licensed exchanges in the country, including PDAX, Coins.ph, and Maya.

“While Binance is already operating in-country, it is not able to directly off-ramp to Philippine Pesos. The VASP license will enable them to do this making the customer experience of Filipinos more frictionless.”

Michael Calma, Country Manager, Advance.ai

Calma also emphasized that consumer protection will be enhanced once Binance will secure a VASP license with the oversight of the BSP.

“In short, panalo tayong lahat,” he declared. [“In short, everybody wins.”]

2) In-Person Support for Binance Smart Chain Projects

Jayvee Fernandez, cofounder of NFT game Anito Legends, highlighted that it will be easier for Binance to set-up shops locally, as it will have legal frameworks that can be replicated.

“In-person support for BSC (Binance Smart Chain) projects. This is the same reason why I chose GCP over AWS when doing our infra rework for Manila Bulletin. Google has a well-established office.”

Jayvee Fernandez, Cofounder, Anito Legends

GCP and AWS are both cloud services, but GCP is managed by Google Cloud while AWS is managed by Amazon.

Fernandez clarified that though Binance has its own Philippine Team, it will just refer the client to the proper team that will handle the concern, because the actual teams are regional.

3) Easier cash in and out

Furthermore, James Chua, Anito Legend’s CEO, stressed that PHP on-ramp is the first thing that comes to mind, while adding that the con, that can be a pro, is “if BIR decides to tax Crypto, then it will be easily traceable by agencies.”

On-ramp (and off-ramp)  refers to the method of cashing in and out of cryptocurrency to fiat and vice versa.

4) Banks will have to recognize funds from Binance as legitimate

Meanwhile, another advantage was pointed out by Grant, a BNB enthusiast, on Twitter: “Local banks would finally recognize that funds from Binance are legitimate if they would finally be BSP-regulated. Most are averse to crypto because of (the) lack of BSP licenses by international crypto exchanges.”

We can recall that there were some cases of bank accounts that were closed or restricted due to crypto transactions.

5) Will force other crypto companies to innovate further

Gab Jornacion of NFT Pinas believes that regulation is a good thing as long as it gives the people protection from “bad actors” in the space.

“Binance obtaining a VASP license will be beneficial in the long run as it gives people like us protection against fraud and other criminal activity, improved security for our assets and also, probably, give us peace of mind,” Jornacion added. 

It implied that innovation and regulation are not enemies but allies that work at hand, stating that “big companies like Binance are definitely one of those that can pave the way for others to innovate further.”

Moreover, Philam Financial Advisor Francis Aguirre, seconded the idea that consumer protection will be enhanced, since “there will be a central authority.”

“Cons – BSP can hold/freeze our accounts, inter link our funds with other banks so they can easily track. They can easily put tax or other fees with it since it is regulated.”

Francis Aguirre, Financial Advisor

Disadvantages of a BSP-Licensed Binance, Community Points to Taxes

However, almost everyone agreed on the disadvantage of Binance securing a VASP license – taxes.

One of the commenters on Facebook explained that even though crypto will not be regulated, exchanges can be.

But the “soon-to-come tax” once Binance will be licensed will also mean more benefits, according to the community.

“Ok lang may tax, ‘wag lang scam.” [It is better to be taxed than to be scammed.]

“Oks lang yan para wala ng amla.”  [It is okay, so that we are safe in AMLA.]

AMLA or Anti-Money Laundering Act enables authorities to investigate money laundering and other financial crimes in order to protect financial institutions and deter criminals.

Lastly, what the community is waiting for once Binance secures its license is the Binance Visa Card.

“I hope this means we can also get the Binance visa card,” a Facebook commenter said. 

The Binance Visa Card can be used for in-store and online purchases that accept Visa, it holds crypto in your wallet and only converts what is needed at the time of purchase.

Binance is a major player in crypto, as it is the top derivative exchange by open interest and trade volume for a matter of time, with around $38 billion 24-hour volume, according to the data of Coingecko. 

Just last month, the Department of Finance (DOF) submitted a proposal to the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his economic team which includes taxation on cryptocurrency by 2024.

Currently, Binance has gained licenses from France, Dubai, and Bahrain, and is applying for registration in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.

This article is published on BitPinas: Community Reacts: What Does a BSP-Regulated Binance Will Mean for the Philippines

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.

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