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Cryptocurrency starts to gain traction in the Philippines

In a statement released by the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), cryptocurrency is said to be well on its way to becoming mainstream in the Philippines. This comes after Filipino investors have taken more interest in digital assets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts from PDAX, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (EECP) and The Fintech Philippines Association relayed their thoughts on the crypto landscape in the Philippines in a webinar held last March 17.

PDAX CEO and founder Nichel Gaba pointed out that PDAX experienced significant growth in crypto transactions and customer volume, saying, ‘Between December 2020 to today, something happened to put Bitcoin and crypto into a space where even traditional portfolio managers need to consider them.’

‘Mainstreaming and mass adoption, or the creation of an ecosystem where blockchain and cryptocurrency technology are widely used, has become inevitable because of the shifting technological and financial landscapes,’ Gaba added.

On the other hand, BSP has also made moves to regulate the use of cryptocurrency in the country. BSP’s Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Director Melchor Plabasan stressed the importance of regulation.

‘Regulations are designed to protect the investing public. We have expanded their scope, strengthened the rules on consumer protection and cybersecurity controls.’ Plabasan said. He also mentioned that cryptocurrency can be used for activities such as fundraising as well as making payments and remittances.

At the end of his statement, Plabasan acknowledged the use of cryptocurrency and that ‘BSP recognises the future of crypto in the Philippines.’

With the rise of cryptocurrency in the Philippines, the BSP and PDAX will be collaborating on a regulatory sandbox that covers crypto and fintech in the country.

The partnership is said to be a result of the growing interest in cryptocurrency and fintech services in the Philippines.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno gave his statement on this potential partnership. ‘As a result of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the use of fintech platforms. The crisis has rapidly reshaped not just the financial system but also the way we interact and how we do business.’

The specific details of the crypto and fintech regulatory sandbox are yet to be revealed to the public. However, Gaba has stated that it will be more focused on customer protection, data privacy, and cybersecurity.

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