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BSP monitors Bitcoin transactions
« on: August 18, 2017, 11:23:25 PM »
BSP monitors Bitcoin transactions
 Joann Villanueva  August 18, 2017, 7:50 pm

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1006783

MANILA - - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is monitoring  the growing transactions of virtual currency (VC)  , or digital money, in the country .

This after the central bank registered the domestic transactions of Bitcoins,  a type of VC,  by two companies.

VCs were introduced around 2009 and most famous among them is the Bitcoin, which remain unregulated since no central bank has ever issued it.

They are being used through online transactions to purchase virtual goods like online gaming environment and social networks as well as real goods and services provided by retailers and restaurants, among others.

BSP issued Circular No. 944 on February 6, 2017 requiring companies that intend to transact VCs to register as remittance and transfer companies (RTCs).

BSP Gov. Nestor A. Espenilla told journalists Friday that two local companies with international affiliation had registered with the central bank but he declined to identify them.

Volume of Bitcoin transactions are growing compared with about USD2-3 million a month in recent years, he said, but declined to give specifics.

“We see a rapid increase in the trajectory. It is coming from a small base but increasing that is why we decided to require them to register,” he said.

“We are moving to regulate them,” he stressed.

Espenilla explained that registered remittance and transfer companies are required to report  any suspicious transactions.

“That is the importance of putting them (VC-related entities) under the regulatory framework. They have to comply with it” he said.

In March 2014, the BSP came out with an advisory warning the public that use of  VCs remained unregulated, thus, consumers were not protected from financial losses.

Espenilla, during the initial On Q: FinTech Thought Leadership  Roundtable Series of FINTQ, the Financial Technology arm of Voyager Innovations, on Friday said the central bank “saw fairly accelerated growth of use of some virtual currencies in money remittance business.”

“Using our risk-based proportionate approach we could see that it’s gaining rapid traction already,” he said.

The central bank chief explained that with companies dealing with VCs now required to register with the central bank,  the BSP will be able to address immediate risks, noting that these currencies are “still a work in progress.” (PNA)