- Nov. 29, 2023: We updated the list on the heels of the news that SEC has issued an advisory vs Binance and has mentioned working with the NTC to keep unregulated exchanges off the Philippines.
- June 15: Updated to reflect new BSP listings.
- Feb. 28, 2023: Removed Novi and included Direct Agent 5 and XenRemit Inc.
- Sept. 20, 2022: Added Philbit and Frenetic.
- Feb. 7, 2022: Included Novi Philippines Inc. and PayMaya Philippines, Inc.
- Oct. 2020: Included new VCEs announced.
- Mar. 2020: Included Moneybees.
- Oct. 2019: Included ABA Global’s COEXSTAR Platform.
- Aug. 7, 2019: Added 2 new licensees, Telcoin and Atomtrans.
- June 6, 2019: Added Bitan Moneytech.
- Apr. 10, 2019: Added new companies – Coinville and ABA Global Phils.
- Mar. 11, 2019: Added a new exchange – Bexpress.
- Dec. 3, 2018: Included the proper name of Etranss’ exchange.
- Oct. 31, 2018: Included Zybi Tech and PDAX’s “institution name” on BSP’s list.
- Sept. 12, 2018: Included PDAX.
- July 13, 2018: Updated to include the correct website of Virtual Currency Philippines Inc.
Table of Contents
With the country being the third largest recipient of remittances globally, many firms want to obtain “virtual currency exchange license” (now called Virtual Asset Service Provider or VASP) in the Philippines to operate a business that can deal with crypto to fiat and fiat to crypto transactions.
Read more: How to get a VASP license in the Philippines
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that there are a number of companies applying to have a license to operate in the country as a virtual currency exchange.
As of August 2022, the BSP has imposed a ban on all VASP applications for the next three years.
List of Licensed Virtual Currency Exchanges in the Philippines
This list will give you the names of the companies (in alphabetical order) who are licensed to convert Philippine Peso to cryptocurrency and vice versa.
*Take note that the license coming from the BSP covers the conversion of crypto to fiat and vice versa. This license does not cover operating order-book style exchange.
ABA Global Philippines Inc. under the trade name of COEXSTAR obtained the BSP license on March 21, 2019. Its head office is in Makati and is headed by Mr. Seungchan Lee. The company launched its cryptocurrency exchange with multiple PHP pairs for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even other coins like EOS and ENJIN.
In August 2022, Coexstar had its grand relaunch to establish a “one-click total platform for producers and consumers to coexist by integrating the production, manufacture, and distribution of eco-friendly agricultural, livestock, and fisheries products into a blockchain.”
Last November 2020, Appsolutely Inc. received approval for their request to operate as a Remittance and Transfer Company (RTC) with Virtual Currency Exchange (VCE) Service. It is the Philippine partner of LoyalCoin, a blockchain-based rewards system where users earn points from participating merchants, with these points redeemable for use to any other merchants’ products within its ecosystem.
Status: Inactive – stopped operations in January 2022.
In a job posting, Atomtrans Tech is composed of a team of executives and blockchain technologies from a group of professional payment agencies with over 30,000 hours of cross-border payments and international remittances. The page also claims that the company has trading service centers in the Philippines, Japan, and other places.
From its company page, it says it has a cooperation agreement with China UnionPay as well as a partnership with Unionbank. BitPinas talked to UnionBank confirming that Atomtrans has an account with them, but clarifies that that’s the extent of their relationship.
In 2021, Atomtrans had a partnership with London-based blockchain technology company Coinfirm which is focused to strengthen the security and transparency of locally licensed exchange.
Betur, Inc (Coins.ph)
Betur, Inc. operates the wallet app Coins.ph. Founded by Ron Hose and Runar Petursson, the company was built to provide financial services to the unbanked. The company is now led by Wei Zhou, the former Chief Financial Officer of Binance.
Betur received its virtual currency license from the BSP in September 2017.
Coins.ph’ suite of cryptocurrency features include direct conversion of fiat (Philippine peso) to Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, XRP, Ethereum, and more cryptocurrencies.
Betur also operates Coins Pro which offers users to trade cryptocurrency to Php on the prices they set themselves.
In December 2022, Coins.ph also acquired an Advanced Electronic Payment and Financial Services (EPFS) license from the BSP.
Bexpress.ph is a crypto trading platform headquartered in Paranaque City. They formally received their licensed on March 11, 2019. B-Express mentioned to BitPinas that it offers a trading platform for buying and selling of Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, etc. They also have a mobile app called Bexpress Pro.
BloomSolutions’ business involves using the blockchain and cryptocurrencies to make remittances faster and cheaper. It offers the technology to other remittance centers by using its BloomRemit API in order to upgrade traditional platforms.
BloomSolutions received its license from the BSP in May 2018.
- Read more: Lack of Awareness Hinders Blockchain Adoption in Remittances, Says Bloom Solutions Founder
In 2021, Bloom launched a new platform called BloomX and entered into a technical agreement with Binance. In the same year, its co-founder Luis Buenaventura left to join Yield Guild Games. In 2023, Bloom phased out the BloomX platform.
Status: Incactive – stopped operations in October 2022.
The BSP announced last March 2019 that Coinville Phils Inc received its license as a virtual currency exchange. The company is engaged in foreign exchange dealing/money changing and or remittance business. They also act as a foreign dealer, money changer, or remittance agent, in accordance with the guidelines from the BSP.
Direct Agent 5 (DA5)
Direct Agent 5 (DA5) is a Makati-based remittance and forex services provider based which offers remittance, eLoading and bills payment. DA5 says it also has a comprehensive mobile app capable of various digital and eWallet payment channels as well as cryptocurrency trading.
It was added to the list of registered VASPs on January 31, 2023. (Read more: DA5 is the New BSP-Licensed VASP (Crypto Exchange), Plans to Launch SurgePay Wallet)
ETranss (GOW Exchange)
Status: not operational
GOW Exchange is the digital currency trading platform whose subsidiary – Etranss – is the owner of the BSP virtual currency exchange license.
GOW Exchange differentiates itself by positioning to provide service to institutional investors that want to convert fiat and cryptocurrencies. It claims to reduce OFW remittance costs by up to 98%.
ETranss received its license last July 2018.
Status: not operational
I-Remit or IRemit is in the business of fund transfer and remittances with a focus on servicing Overseas Filipino Workers. It started commercial operations in 2001.
The company has multiple auxiliary services and has wholly-owned subsidiaries like I-Remit Australia and I-Remit Japan. As of December 2019, it operates in 23 countries.
I-Remit received its electronic money issuer license in 2019 and its VCE license in 2020.
Moneybees obtained its VCE license on Q1 2020. Founded in 2017, Moneybees enables moneychangers to incorporate cryptocurrencies in their branches. It provides the technology so that moneychanger companies can accept and facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. In an interview, Moneybees Executive Paulo del Puerto said “Customers can just walk in a branch, and buy crypto with cash or get outright cash when selling their crypto.
- Moneybees Partners with Tambunting for OTC Services
- Moneybees Partners with ACM, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Services Nationwide
- Filipino Crypto Company Moneybees to Open 100 More OTC Outlets
In 2022, Maya rebranded from its former name, Paymaya, to include online banking services alongside its e-wallet, cryptocurrency trading, and micro-investments. In 2022, it opened buy and sell crypto service. (Read more: PayMaya Rebrands to “Maya” After Launching Crypto Offering)
Maya Philippines, Inc. received its crypto license last December 31, 2021.
Philbit Money Changer and Remittance Services Inc (PHILBIT)
According to its website, Philbit plans to have its own mobile application that allows trading of 850 global digital currencies.
PDAX offers cash-in options through platforms like Maya, GCASH, Bancnet, 7-eleven, ECPay, and Expresspay.
PDAX received its license last September 2018.
In 2022, PDAX launched Prime in the same month as its partnership with Velo Labs. The new platform allows users to have the option to upgrade, giving them access to a total of 70 cryptocurrencies, including exclusive, over-the-counter tokens. (Read more: PDAX Wraps 2022 As It Achieves 800K Users)
Top Juan Tech
Top Juan Tech Corporation (TTC) is a financial technology company that provides B2B and B2C financial services and solutions. An article from ExBulletin said it has partnered with AllianceBlock to “enable globally compliant digital asset access in the Philippines.”
UnionBank is the first local bank to receive a VASP license from the BSP.
WIBS PHP Inc
Status: Not operational
WIBS PHP utilizes blockchain technology as it provides its users an electronic payment service calles “DO PAY for E-money” and a virtual currency exchange service “DO PAY for VCE”.
We’re still currently gathering information, such as operation description and website, regarding this entity. However, XenRemit, according to the VASP list, is headed by Yang Yang Zang, who is also an executive in the payment gateway Xendit. The connection between the two entities are still yet to be confirmed but it is noted that Xendit also offers a service called XenRemit. Zang was previously co-founder of PDAX.
BitPinas emailed Xendit, which mentioned that they have no information to share as of this moment, but will be in touch once they do.
Added into the list of registered VASPs on January 31, 2023.
Zybi Tech Inc (Juan Exchange)
Zybi Tech’s Juan Exchange received its license in 2018 and intended to launch a crypto exchange, a mobile wallet, and many other solutions concerning cryptocurrency and blockchain. The exchange had a grand launching last July 2019. BitPinas attended the soft launching in May 2019.
The Central Bank included Bitan MoneyTech in its list of licensed virtual currency companies on March 31, 2019. Bitan MoneyTech aims to cater to “veteran traders while making sure that their trading platform is simple enough for beginners.”
With regards to the user’s funds. Bitan said it will store the majority of the digital asset in a “highly secure office offline wallet backed by insurance”.
As of October 2020, Bitan was removed by the BSP from its licensed VCE list.
Finchain Technology Inc (FTI)
In a statement sent to BitPinas, FTI is focused on building a blockchain ecosystem that includes a cryptocurrency exchange, a cryptocurrency payment, remittance, and lending. It received its provisional VCE license in February 2020. The company promised to send more information when it’s ready.
In an article from the Manila Times, Frenetic is expected to launch its web3 platform and digital asset exchange.
Philippine Digital Financial Assets Exchange Inc
To be updated. We are requesting the company about its website, logo, and other details. (Not to be confused with Philippine Digital Asset Exchange or PDAX, which is owned by Fyntegrate.)
Rebittance, Inc. (SCI Ventures)
Rebittance, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI or SCI Ventures). It is one of the pioneer blockchain companies in the Philippines. The company operates the following products:
- BuyBitcoin.ph – Bitcoin buy and sell website
- Bitbit – Peso and Crypto wallet
- Rebit – Remit money to the Philippines using Bitcoin
- Citadax – Cryptocurrency Exchange
Rebittance received its license last October 2017.
The company is currently not in operation.
Official Website: https://sci.ph/
Telcoin operates a mobile wallet that allows transfer of money anywhere. Telcoin is also a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum with the intention of being accepted by Telco operators, with a partnership with mobile telco smart seemed to have pushed through under the radar. The wallet is available on the App Store and Google Play.
As of October 2020, Telcoin was removed by the BSP from its licensed VCE list.
Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc.
Virtual Currency Philippines Inc (VCPI) made the announcement of launching in the Philippines last February 2018 (Check this video.) The digital currency exchange supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other tokens. It is already live, a launch event was attended by BitPinas where the company announced a partnership with Ecpay and NEM Philippines.
As of December 2020, Telcoin was removed by the BSP from its licensed VCE list.
Official Website: https://vhcex.com
Novi Philippines Inc
Novi is a digital wallet under Facebook’s parent company Meta specializing in international money transfers and remittances which helps people send and receive money “instantly, securely, and with no fees.” Novi uses USDP (Pax Dollar), a stablecoin digital currency, for its operations.
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Director Chuchi Fonacier, there are more than two dozen companies seeking to have a virtual currency exchange license. All of which are in different stages of approval.
Editor’s Note: If you are a licensed VC exchange in the Philippines but not yet included in this article, please ping us over email or via telegram. Also, you are welcome to let us know any updates about your company, licenses, etc. Everything mentioned in this article is based on public-facing documents and releases, such as press releases from the BSP and confirmed information from the head of the exchanges themselves.
This article is first published on BitPinas: List of Licensed Virtual Currency Exchanges in the Philippines.