January 18, 2019. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has posted a surge of investments after it launched a series of projects – including the unveiling of a cryptocurrency and blockchain hub – to transform the economic zone.
With almost zero growth in the last 2 decades, Secretary Raul Lambino, Administrator of CEZA, pursued a strategy that will make the economic zone a fintech and tourism hub.
First on the list is to dismantle the corrupt and illegal gaming operations by canceling 58 Inter-Active Gaming Licenses and 77 Business Process Outsourcing firms that serve as back offices that are in the economic zone. (As per mandated by the government, getting an online gaming license from CEZA means having to operate on the economic zone in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and not outside.)
Second is the planned transformation of the special zone into a “Crypto Valley in Asia”. The move, despite high fees, has sparked interest as a number of firms abroad applied to become an offshore crypto locator with CEZA. This has led to CEZA having a break out year in 2018, posting record income than the previous years.
As of today, there are 23 offshore crypto and fintech firms that have been granted by CEZA with licenses. You can find them here.
While the fees from registration contributed to CEZA’s income, it estimates more growth in this department as well when these offshore crypto firms start trading their asset-backed tokens in offshore markets, as well as used in the “lucrative” online gaming industry.
Indeed, the books have reflected this surge in income. CEZA has sent BitPinas its Comparative Statements of Profit and Loss for the period October 31, 2018 and 2017.
Currently, CEZA is busy in planning for the creation of a satellite city just Southwest of Sta. Ana, Cagayan. To be named “City Polarize”, Secretary Lambino said in a statement that it aims to pull in foreign and local business investments that will, in the long term, contribute to the economy of Northern Luzon.
This article first appeared at BitPinas on January 18, 2019: CEZA Has Already Granted 23 Offshore Crypto Licenses, Posted Record 2018 Growth