Philippine Central Bank Vows to Study and Keep an Eye on Bitcoin ‘Very Closely’

The Philippine central bank promises to flex its muscles and vows to study Bitcoin closely, this is according to BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo.

In an interview aired on ANC on December 1, 2017, Guinigundo also stressed out that traders should be aware of the high risks in investing in Bitcoin despite its skyrocketing prices.

When asked whether Bitcoin could have a bright future in the Philippines, the executive replied with a ‘no’, but also stated that Bitcoin is ‘something people will need to study and understand’.

However, he likewise mentioned that the central bank is in the process of reviewing and studying cryptocurrencies.

Part of his statement during the interview includes:

“The BSP [Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas] is accepting cryptocurrencies , but at the same time, providing advisories to the general public that they have to be conscious of the opaqueness of transactions involving Bitcoins.”

In early 2017, the Philippine Central Bank issued its first regulation and guidelines for virtual currency exchanges. The Central Bank of the Philippines is currently reviewing 12 applications for cryptocurrency exchanges.

In October 2017, BSP deputy director Melchor Plabasan also clarified that the Central Bank sees Bitcoin more as a remittance and payment tool. In a televised interview with ABS-CBN News, Plabasan also stated:

“It’s like any other monetary instrument [and even] an investment instrument. There are risks but essentially, it can be managed. If you want something that is fast, near real-time and convenient then there’s the benefit of using virtual currencies like bitcoin.”

Similar to other regulating bodies from Singapore, Malaysia, US, and UK, the said move from the Philippine Central Bank did not come as a surprise considering the growing number of first-time investors who are mainly enticed by the potential profits by investing in Bitcoin.