Philippines’ central bank has issued new guidelines for the cryptocurrency industry. They include the need to apply for an operating license, the minimum capital for service providers, and stringent anti-money laundering programs. In its statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) pledged “to provide an environment that encourages financial innovation while safeguarding the integrity and stability of the financial system.” The central bank also recognized that virtual assets have the potential to revolutionize the delivery of financial services.
Crypto companies in the Philippines will have to obtain a certificate of authority.
To operate as a cryptocurrency money service business, companies in the Philippines will have to obtain a certificate of authority. The virtual asset service providers (VASPs) will also have to comply with all the BSP rules and regulations and have sound corporate governance principles. For digital currency custodians, the minimum capital required will be PHP50 million (US$1.04 million). VASPs without custodial services will be required to have a minimum of PHP10 million (US$207,770) in the capital. Crypto wallet service providers must establish sufficient cybersecurity measures, the BSP guidelines further outlined.
Crypto firms shall conduct customer due diligence on all their users.
According to the guidelines, the virtual asset service providers shall conduct customer due diligence on all their users. They must also keep user data for any transactions worth PHP50,000 (US$1,000). This will help stamp out money laundering and other illicit uses of digital currencies, the watchdog believes. The Philippines has had a few cases of alleged terrorist financing using digital currencies. As reported earlier, mid last year, Islamic State-linked terror groups used digital currencies to fund terror activities in the Southeast Asian country’s southern regions.