BSP expects higher demand for cryptocurrency trading in 2021

bangko sentral ng pilipinas

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expects a rise in cryptocurrency transactions in the Philippines this year after Bitcoin and other crypto coins’ value climbed towards the end of 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021.

In an interview with the Philippine Star published on their website last March 1 for cryptocurrency news, BSP’s Director of Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department (TRISD) Melchor Plabasan says that the rise in crypto transactions was brought about by a surge in prices, especially with Bitcoin.

‘We also anticipate a continued increase in the adoption of virtual currencies in the payments and remittances sphere, as well as in the delivery of other financial services. This follows from an observed growth in virtual currency business activities from BSP-registered exchanges in the past few years,’ Plabasan shared.

Plabasan stated a 36% increase in investors since 2019. He also believes that the popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will continue to attract more traders this year.

As a result, BSP expanded the cryptocurrency regulations and guidelines for crypto transactions in the Philippines.

In a statement released by BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, he said, ‘We have seen accelerated growth in the use of virtual currency exchanges (VCEs) in the past three years and it is high time that we broaden the scope of existing regulations in recognition of the evolving nature of this financial innovation and set out commensurate risk management expectations.’

As digital assets gain more attention, BSP will continue to enforce regulations that all exchange platforms and cryptocurrency traders in the Philippines must follow. These regulations cover matters such as anti-money laundering, terrorism financing, liquidity risk management, among others.

BSP first set out to make regulations for VCEs back in 2017 and has expanded their regulations as of February 2021. In the official announcement released on their website last Tuesday, BSP shares that their new regulations for crypto service providers and users are ‘consistent with risk management standards set by international standard-setting bodies.’

A recent article published by ASEAN Today for cryptocurrency updates last February 25 stated that countries in Asia such as the Philippines need to be prepared for the growing demand for digital assets. As of today, there are 17 virtual currency exchanges (VCEs) in the Philippines, with the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) being one of the most popular. These exchange platforms will continue to run in accordance with BSP’s regulations.

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