The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has approved two companies to run virtual currency exchanges in the country.
Among the two companies, Atomtrans Tech Corp. International is a Phillipino financial services company founded in 2017, while the other is Tokyo-based Telcoin Corp., Philstar Global detailed.
Atomtrans already operates ATC Remittance and ATC Payment services and now extended its business to the crypto-asset industry with ATC Digital Currency Exchange. The company also signed an agreement with China UnionPay Electronic Payment Co., Ltd. and UnionBank of the Philippines and represents the Philippine-China remittance products.
Japanese company Telcoin, on the other hand, is a mobile services giant in its local market and already developed an Ethereum-based blockchain.
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With the addition of two new exchanges, the total number of licensed virtual currency exchanges went to thirteen in the Philippines.
A small but growing market
The Philippines is a relatively small market for digital currency trading compared to massive markets like the United States, Japan, or South Korea. However, the market is growing tremendously as in 2018, transactions relating digital currencies touched $390 million, compared to $189.18 million in the previous year, according to the country’s central bank’s data.
The country is also taking steps to regulate the wild crypto industry properly. Earlier this year, a government-backed body issued guidelines to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country.
Finance Magnates last month reported that the BSP, which was considering to launch a central bank-backed digital currency, shelved its plans. However, the regulator continued to monitor the cryptocurrency market.
Meanwhile, US-based crypto exchange Coinbase also expanded its services in the country earlier this year with its latest push for capturing Asian and Latin American countries. A major bank in the Philippines also installed two Bitcoin ATMs in the country under the Philippine government’s regulatory sandbox.