By Sean Millare and Michael Mislos
BPI, one of the largest banks in the Philippines, is no longer allowing crypto transactions.
According to online magazine When In Manila, “It used to work fine but upon using our BPI card on Binance today, it kept getting declined. We called BPI and were told that they just got a memo today.”
Luis Buenaventura, a Filipino NFT artist, author & co-founder of BloomX said in his Facebook post (also republished on BitPinas) that even though there’s no news coverage about this rumor his contacts already verified that it was indeed true. One of the comments in Luis’ post also confirmed that BPI is blocking deposits to Binance.
In a post on the subreddit r/PHinvest, multiple users confirmed that BPI is no longer accepting crypto transactions. One user also shared an email from BPI regarding crypto transactions. (BitPinas has yet to confirm the authenticity of the shared email.)
Another BPI account holder Fleire Castro also shared a message from the bank noting its restriction of crypto-related transactions.
Many users are recommending using UnionBank and other cards like PayMaya when doing crypto transactions. UnionBank has allowed crypto transactions and even has a crypto ATM in one of its branches in Makati. The bank has piloted multiple blockchain-related trials, some of them would eventually become full-fledged products – like Bonds.ph, a blockchain based platform to buy bonds in the Philippines, and Project i2i, which was intended to connect rural banks to the national banking infrastructure.
GCash, a popular mobile wallet app in the Philippines recently announced their plans of adopting cryptocurrencies in their mobile wallet app. “While we may be considered a disruptor now, it is important in this digital age that we should be mindful of all types of disruptions out there. It’s important to know what the trends are, whether locally and globally and crypto is part of that.” GCash CEO Martha Sazon previously said.
As Luis previously mentioned, the ban from BPI didn’t make sense because GCash, a sister company (both are part of the Ayala group) recently expressed interest to add cryptocurrency functions on the GCash mobile app. This sentiment was shared by other users primarily those on Reddit. In the op-ed, the co-founder of BloomX said that despite all the existing regulations surrounding crypto, banks in the Philippines have remained anti-crypto. “What’s worse is that their positions have become MORE aggressively anti-crypto over the years, in direct contrast to the state of global regulation. It’s truly saddening to still be marginalized after all this time operating in the regulated space.”
BitPinas contacted BPI and the post will be updated if there are new developments.
This article is published on BitPinas: BPI No Longer Allows Crypto Transactions