Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News Online Published May 21, 2018

At least 15 offshore companies involved in financial technology solutions and blockchain technology have committed to invest in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP).

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has inked P1.7 billion worth of contracts, mostly with companies involved in fintech and cryptocurrency exchanges.

This includes application and licensing fees to be paid by cryptocurrency companies that plan to operate virtual currency exchanges, engage in crypto mining and blockchain production, and initial coin offerings, among others, CEZA said in a statement.

“Working with virtual currency companies allows the Philippines to gain momentum in providing an environment that encourages financial innovation and inclusion, while ensuring that the best interests of the country, the financial system, consumers, and investors are adequately protected,” CEZA Administrator Raul Lambino said in a statement on Monday.

Among the companies planning to put up shop in country are South Korean insurer Hawha Life and Hongkong-based Xin Peng Group, Changwei International Co. Ltd., and ST Union Capital Holdings.

Other investors include Hachiman Technology Sdn BHD, MX Exchange Ventures, Coin Bundle, IPE Global PTE, Inc. Superieur Tech Pte. Ltd., CSM, Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Company Ltd., Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, Pacificnet Strategic Investments Ltd., SuperAngels Ventures Ltd., and ANX International.

“This new development aims to drive the economy forward by creating employment opportunities and boosting job growth. The Philippines will be ready to provide cryptocurrency companies operating here with the manpower they need for their businesses,” Lambino said.