With the continuous adoption of the cryptocurrency industry in the country, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has released an updated list of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the country.
The updated list has a total of 19 VASP license holders. Comparing the data from the September 2022 list, the April 2023 list has now included XenRemit, a company under Xendit Group, and excluded Rebittance, a subsidiary of SCI Ventures, the company behind Rebit.ph.
XenRemit, Inc. is part of Xendit Group, a Southeast Asia-based group of fintech firms that claims to provide payment infrastructure across Indonesia and the Philippines. Aside from the VASP license, XenRemit also holds a Certificate of Registration as a Remittance and Transfer Company. In a message to BitPinas, Xendit said they have no further information to share at this point, but will be in contact when they do.
“Xendit processes payments, runs marketplaces, disburses payroll and loans, detects fraud, and helps other businesses grow exponentially. We serve these companies by providing a suite of world-class APIs and a dashboard UI that simplifies processes,” the firm’s website read.
Last year, the fintech platform raised $538 million in Series D funding, which, according to Xendit, gave them an opportunity to power the local startup community in the country.
“We continue to be inspired by the growth and success of our partners and merchants. It is our pleasure to keep making payments simple for the Philippines, and with that, we are happy to showcase some of the highlights for Xendit Philippines in 2022,” Xendit declared.
Currently, Xendit Group offers a wide range of payment options across bank transfers, credit and debit cards, retail outlets, installment plans, and e-wallets—all through a single integration. Its bank and e-wallet partners include BPI, UnionBank, RCBC, ChinaBank, GCash, GrabPay, Maya, and ShopeePay.
Established in 2014, Rebittance, Inc. is a subsidiary of Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), a company known for its blockchain-related products including Buybitcoin.ph, Rebit.ph, and Bitbit.cash.
In 2017, the BSP granted Rebittance, or “Bitcoin-remittance,” a license to operate as a virtual currency exchange (VCE). Rebittance joined Coins.ph at that time as the only VCEs licensed by the Central Bank.
MINUTIAE: In 2021, the Monetary Board, the agency responsible for making policy decisions related to the management, operation, and administration of the BSP, replaced VCEs with VASPs through Circular No. 1108.
In an October 2020 post, the team announced that they had decided to discontinue the then-current version of Rebit to prepare for the launch of their new platform.
In an exclusive inquiry, Miguel Cuneta, the co-founder of both the SCI and Rebit.ph, told BitPinas that the exchange has not renewed voluntarily its VASP license because it has stopped its operations since 2021.
“Rebittance Inc. stopped renewing its VASP license and returned its existing certificate of registration to the BSP in 2023,” Cuneta explained. “This is due to the fact that it has not been operating since Jan 2021 and Rebittance management decided at the end of 2022 that it will not be resuming operations in the future. Therefore, it has no need to continue being a covered institution or MSB (Money Services Business).”
VASP License in the Philippines
The VASP license is granted by the BSP to those that facilitate exchange between a virtual asset and fiat currency, a virtual asset to a virtual asset, or custody or transfer of virtual assets. The central bank classifies cryptocurrencies as a type of virtual asset.
However, through a memorandum signed by Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, the monetary agency has announced that it will not accept VASP license applications beginning September 1, 2022. The memorandum stated that this is being implemented to review the current local virtual asset market in the Philippines.
The BSP’s decision means that those who have passed the second stage of the licensing process on or before August 31, 2022, will be processed and assessed, while those with incomplete requirements as of that date will be returned and tagged as “closed.”
Meanwhile, Rebittance is not the first entity to have its VASP license removed. In September 2022, Meta’s (formerly Facebook’s) digital wallet, Novi, was also removed from the list.
For more information on present and past VASPS, check out this article: List of Licensed Virtual Asset Service Providers in the Philippines.
This article is published on BitPinas: Xenremit In, Rebittance Out As BSP Updates VASP List for April 2023
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.