The Philippines is giving consent to ten companies operating in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space to set up offices and facilities in an economic zone to back employment while profiting from tax relief measures, Reuters announces as he cites a government official. These enterprises will become the first cryptocurrency entities to work in the Philippines after provincial regulators passed an order to constitute such operations in an economic zone.
Raul Lambino, head of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), informed Reuters:
“We are about to license 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange. They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, and Koreans […]. They can go into cryptocurrency mining, initial coin offerings, or they can go into the exchange.”
But when it comes to the exchange of fiat currency into digital money or vice versa, the transactions must be done seaward as Philippine regulations do not regard cryptocurrencies legal tender.
The CEZA is the government entity that manages the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport in the north-east of the Philippines. This came up with regulations in February, allowing cryptocurrency firms to establish offices and facilities in the region. As instructed, companies should invest no less than $1 million over a period of two years and pay up to $100,000 in license fees.
Lambino reported that the CEZA is also contemplating about establishing a blockchain and fintech university in the economic zone to train workers for the companies working there.
The Philippine central bank responsible for the regulation of crypto exchanges in the country does not support the use of any digital currency, seeing their accountability to misuse. At the beginning of the year, it issued a warning on the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies.