The central bank of Philippine has given approval to two new cryptocurrency exchanges Virtual Currency Philippines, Inc. and ETranss to carry out the conversion of Philippine pesos (PHP) into virtual digital currencies. This approval brings a total number of crypto exchanges to 5 in the country.
Among the developing countries, Philippine has been quite vocal in its support of crypto ecosystem in the country. This attitude of the government can be attributed to the countries dependence on the remittances. Cryptos provide a cheaper and faster means to send money from abroad and considering that Filipinos sent $7.8 billion home in the first quarter of 2018, the saving can be huge for the local economy.
Earlier in July, the government gave nod for establishing a Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in the northern part of the Philippines which will be supporting 25 cryptocurrency exchanges with friendly regulations and tax policy.
The countries crypto startups were also fairing better than the traditional financial institutions. Crypto app coins.ph raised $10 million from Naspers and were among the 10 most used application with around 5 million registered users.
Probably the government has sensed that due to large Filipino diaspora a well-developed crypto ecosystem will serve the economy well, due to lower transaction fees and faster transfer than the traditional fiat-fiat conversion. For instance, money changers charge around 10 percent of the net amount being converted from dollar to peso and this does not account for the currency markups which can add another 3 percent.