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Philippine's BSP approves registration of 2 bitcoin exchanges

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has approved the registration of two companies to engage in the operation of bitcoin exchanges as part of efforts to regulate the fast growing but potentially risky virtual currency industry. BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said during the FinTech Thought Leadership Roundtable Series presented by FINTQ, the central bank has given the two companies the green light to operate bitcoin exchanges.

“They are local based but they have international roots,” Espenilla said. Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. People could buy and sell bitcoins by tapping dealers or brokers or going to bitcoin exchanges.

Holders could also look for services or goods whose merchants accept bitcoin payments. Last January, the BSP issued Circular 944 laying down the guidelines for virtual currency exchanges. It is the policy of the central bank to provide an environment that encourages financial innovation while at the same time ensure that the Philippines will not be used for money laundering or terrorist financing activities and that the financial system and financial consumers are adequately protected.

Thus, the regulator recognizes that virtual currency systems have the potential to revolutionize the delivery of financial services, particularly for payments and remittance, in view of their ability to provide faster and more economical transfer of funds, both domestic and international, and may further support financial inclusion.

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