Former Banker Notes the Increasing Blockchain Interest in the Philippines

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October 17, 2018. According to Information Technology Consultant Nilo Cruz, a former Senior Vice President and CIO of Development Bank of the Philippines, the country has a growing interest in the new technology, especially the banks that are tapping on financial technology and blockchain.

In an interview with Mr. Marc Nash, the host of Currency Affairs on the Noah Project Youtube page, Mr. Nilo Cruz gave his views on the “Acceptance of Cryptocurrency in the Philippines”. According to him, the interest in technology is growing. “With the Filipinos’ exposure to social media, it will just continue to increase,” he said.

When Mr. Nash asked about the response of the government to these technologies, Mr. Cruz answered that “they’ve been very open to this technological innovations.” He also shared that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) newly formed fintech and blockchain unit, Financial Technology Sub-Sector, is established to monitor the technology. The financial regulator also monitors the “entrants” activities so it can formulate sensible regulations.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also has a team that checks if an entrant (crypto and blockchain company) complies with the requirements of our SEC.

Mr. Cruz noted the three points on how the BSP approaches the regulation of the technology:

  • Balanced regulation approached
    • Risk-based and proportionate
      • It has to be well balanced so they can encourage more entrants.
  • Active multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • Consumer Protection
    • To have enough regulations to secure the consumers’ investment.

Mr. Nash asked if the Philippines will have an advantage in the future economic growth since the country adopted these advancements early on. Mr. Cruz answered:

“With our big IT literate population, plus more than 60 million active mobile users, combine those two together we should be able to take advantage of this new technology to gain economic benefits for our country.” – Mr. Nilo Cruz,  former Senior Vice President and CIO of Development Bank of the Philippines

In the next couple of years, Mr. Cruz views the acceptance of the Filipinos to cryptocurrency in the next couple of years to only increase. This is because of its continuing exposure in different forms of media, thereby increasing the number of investors.

In a recent event in London, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, also shared that the BSP is encouraging FinTech companies to engage with banks. He said that this will make the delivery of banking services improved, reduce its cost, more efficient, and can reach more people.

Philippines’ SEC is also in the works of drafting its rules on virtual currency exchanges. The commissioner said that the BSP’s current VC license is similar to a money exchange (crypto to fiat and vice versa) and does not include acting as a trading platform. It hopes to do a “joint cooperative oversight” of the regulation.

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