The Philippines Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) announced it granted three cryptocurrency exchanges provisional license to operate. All three are foreign-based, including two from Hong Kong and one from Thailand. To gain annual approval, companies made substantial financial and employment investments in the country.

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Philippines Grants Three Licenses to Crypto Exchanges

“These are offshore companies, and they have committed investments of $1 million each,” stated Raymundo T. Roquero, deputy administrator of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in the Philippines.

He was speaking specifically of the conditions under which three licenses have been issued to crypto exchanges, such as the first to Hong Kong’s Golden Millennial Quickplay Inc. Ltd. (GMQ), and how the newly licensed company “intends to build infrastructure in Sta. Ana, Cagayan,” he told Anna Leah E. Gonzales of The Manila Times, “and will have an incubation period of two years, so they are already allowed to operate here in Manila.”

Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

With three exchanges being licensed, that means $3,000,000 will be added to the coffers of the government-owned and controlled corporation formed in the Ramos era. The CEZA encapsulates the city of Sta. Ana. The area is considered prime development, and is positioned in an attempt to exploit the Trans-Pacific sea lanes. The hope is to capitalize on trade with APEC while also remaining accessible to international trade.

Hoops, Probity

All three exchanges are from outside the country. Each licensed exchange must be renewed annually. The news is most welcome for the crypto community, for only two weeks ago, CEZA claimed it would put budding exchanges hoping to do business in the country through extraordinary paces. The $1,000,000 is to deter such exchanges and the zone from becoming initial coin offering meccas.

Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses
CEZA, Mr. Roquero on far left.

“When they apply, they will pay an application fee of $100,000,” he teased. “Then you go into probity checks, then application programming integration (API), which costs an additional $100,000. Three other applicants have fully paid these obligations, but are still undergoing probity checks,” he added. Some 70 companies have applied for CEZA acceptance.

The fees are “all non-refundable. If you fail in the probity check, you cannot get these [back]. We will sign licensing agreements with these companies,” Mr. Roquero explained. “Companies want to invest here because we are the first to provide rules and regulations for cryptocurrencies.”

Will crypto continue to expand in Southeast Asia? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay, CEZA


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