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IMF Helping Philippines Become Important Crypto Market


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is providing the Philippines with technical assistance regarding crypto assets. The IMF believes the country may become an important crypto market and has provided the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas with suggestions for the country’s crypto regulation, including quarterly data collection from approved crypto exchanges.

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IMF Helping Philippines’ Central Bank

The International Monetary Fund published a 34-page Technical Assistance Report on the Philippines this week as part of its periodic consultation with the country’s regulators. The report and recommendations within it are based on an assessment the IMF staff conducted in July. The contents of the report constitute technical advice provided by the IMF staff to the authorities of the Philippines in response to their request for technical assistance, the report details.

The IMF is also helping the Philippines’ central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in several areas to improve the quality of monetary and financial statistics compiled by the central bank. “At BSP request, the mission also delivered a lecture on the treatment of crypto assets in macroeconomic statistics,” based on the latest methodology released by the IMF’s Statistics Department, the organization detailed. Emphasizing the growing number of crypto exchanges approved by the BSP, the IMF asserted:

The Philippines may become an important market for crypto assets.

The BSP adopted a formal crypto regulatory framework through the issuance of Circular No. 944 in 2017. Businesses engaged in the exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiat money in the Philippines are required to register with the central bank as remittance and transfer companies.

IMF Encourages the BSP to Collect Data From Crypto Exchanges

According to the BSP’s most recent list, there are currently 13 approved crypto exchanges in the Philippines. They are Betur dba, Rebittance, Bloomsolutions, Virtual Currency Philippines, Etranss Remittance International, Fyntegrate, Zybi Tech, Bexpress, Coinville Phils, Aba Global Philippines, Bitan Moneytech, Telcoin, and Atomtrans Tech.

The IMF report also notes that “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 crypto assets,” elaborating:

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

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

The suggestions by the IMF are similar to the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body responsible for developing policies to combat money laundering. The FATF issued guidance on a risk-based approach to virtual assets and related service providers in June. It urges countries and obliged entities to design customer due diligence processes to meet both the FATF standards and national legal requirements. Its recommendations include “identifying the customer and, where applicable, the customer’s beneficial owner and verifying the customer’s identity on a risk basis and on the basis of reliable and independent information, data, or documentation to at least the extent required by the applicable legal or regulatory framework.”

What do you think of the IMF helping the Philippines shape its crypto policies? Do you think the Philippines is already an important crypto market? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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