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19 Crypto Firms Now Licensed to Provide Digital Asset Trading Services in Philippines

By: Omar Faridi

The Philippines is looking to issue operating licenses to many different crypto firms in order to create more jobs for locals.

Digital currency exchanges looking to conduct operations in the Philippines must “invest a minimum of $1 million”, among other requirements.

Nineteen new companies have reportedly received a provisional license to operate digital asset exchanges in the Philippines, The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a Philippine-government owned and controlled corporation, recently published a list of all firms which have been issued various crypto-related licenses.

These different permits are referred to as Offshore Virtual Currency (Ovc, Ftsovc) and Financial Technology Solutions licenses. CEZA’s list also includes the names of companies that have paid the processing fee for their application to acquire a crypto-related operational license.

At present, there are currently 17 crypto and blockchain-related firms that have been issued provisional principal licenses and two others reportedly have provisional regular licenses.

“Principal” And “Regular” Licenses

Commenting on what type of business activity the licenses allow the companies to engage in, CEZA noted: “Provisional principal licenses [allow companies] to conduct offshore financial technology solutions business activities and offshore virtual currency exchange activities … Provisional regular licenses allow firms to conduct offshore virtual currency exchange activities.”

The Philippines News Agency reported in July that “a principal license for Ftsovc operation under Ceza is priced [at] $360,000 [and] a regular license is priced at $85,000.” Catherine Joy Alameda, the corporate board secretary at CEZA, said that provisional licenses remain valid for a 6-month period.

Alameda added that a firm “will be able to acquire its permanent license when it is able to fully comply with the requirements of CEZA.” She further explained that companies looking to acquire licenses must have at least $500,000 in authorized capital stock, in addition to a minimum of $200,000 of paid-in capital.

Local news outlets also reported that CEZA “requires each cryptocurrency exchange to invest a [minimum of] $1 million” during a two-year period and must open a back office based in the Philippines.

Over 20,000 New Jobs

Currently, there are 8 additional firms whose crypto-related license applications are being reviewed as CEZA expects:

about 20,000 jobs in fintech [to] open up as soon as it awards the initial 25 principal licenses to be made available to qualified fintech companies.


Furthermore, the corporation noted:

Ceza expects to earn [about $66.6 million] from the initial 25 [principal] licenses that it will issue, on top of the 0.1 percent share per transaction value generated from the operation of the fintech firms.


As CryptoGlobe reported in July, conversions from the Philippine peso to cryptocurrencies had grown exponentially during the past few years. In early 2018, an average of $36 million in transactions per month from only two registered crypto exchanges had been recorded.

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