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IMF sees Philippine as key market for cryptocurrency wealth

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the Philippines to improve collection of transaction data for crypto assets as the country is seen attracting more players into this emerging financial creature. afp

IMF sees Philippine as key market for cryptocurrency wealth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the Philippines to improve collection of transaction data for crypto assets as the country is seen attracting more players into this emerging financial creature.

“The Philippines may become an important market for crypto assets,” said the IMF in a technical assistance report on monetary and financial data mission to the Philippines completed in July last year.

The IMF noted that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had already authorised the operations of three more virtual currency exchanges (VCEs), bringing the total number of licensed VCEs to 10.

An updated list on the BSP’s website showed that it already approved a total of 13 VCEs as of end-October last year.

To date, the VCE service providers with licences from the BSP included Betur Inc (Coins.ph), Rebittance Inc, Bloomsolutions Inc, Virtual Currency Philippines Inc, Etranss Remittance International Corp, Fyntegrate Inc, Zybi Tech Inc, Bexpress Inc, Coinville Philippines Inc, Aba Global Philippines Inc, Bitan Moneytech Co Ltd Inc, Telcoin Corp, and Atomtrans Tech Corp.

“The mission encourages the BSP to start exploring the possibility of collecting data on these exchanges for macroeconomic analysis, in particular international financial flows using cryptoassets,” the IMF report released on December 30, 2019 read.

“The mission suggests requesting aggregated data, on a quarterly basis, on gross transactions, indicating the country of origin and destination of the funds transacted,” the IMF report said.

“In addition, it would be useful to breakdown the parties involved in the transactions between individuals, financial corporations, and nonfinancial corporations,” the IMF said.

According to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report titled Cryptoassets in Asia: Consumer Attitudes, Behaviors and Experiences” published last December, a majority of Filipinos had been aware of cryptocurrencies even as actual holdings remained low due to perceived risks from these digital assets.

Results of an online survey conducted in February and March last year showed that level of awareness of cryptocurrencies in the Philippines was 74 per cent, ranging from “very well” (17 per cent of respondents), and “to some extent” (20 per cent), to “not very well” (27 per cent).

A lower 38 per cent of Filipino respondents had been also aware of so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), a form of crowdfunding using cryptocurrencies.

However, only 32 per cent said they currently owned cryptoassets, while just 14 per cent were ICO investors.

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ANN

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