Many companies are seeking the approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to operate as a virtual currency exchange in the Philippines.
According to BSP Director Chuchi Fonacier, the number of applications has expanded to 29. All are currently in various processing stages. For example, some applications are awaiting requirements submission while some are about to present their business models.
This number has increased from 12, which was disclosed by the BSP in December 2017. So far only Betur Inc, which operates Coins.ph, and Rebittance, which runs Rebit.ph have a license to operate as a virtual currency exchange.
The news comes on the heels of another public reminder from the BSP on the risks involved with virtual currencies. In a media release, the regulator discussed the two sides of virtual currencies. While it noted their benefits when it comes to remittances, it also mentioned the risks and how it can be used for illegal activities.
With the rise of cryptocurrency transactions, the BSP released Circular 944 in February 2017. The circular detailed guidelines for how virtual currency exchanges should operate in the country.
Before the circular was released, the BSP held talks with players in the space to discuss correct regulation that should apply, and which must be different from how banks are regulated.
From data gathered by the regulator, virtual currency transactions have reached $8 million per month for the first half of 2017.