Bitcoin group seeks legal framework for cryptocurrency in Philippines

The newly elected board of the Bitcoin Organization of the Philippines (BOP) aims to work with the central bank or Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to create a legal framework for the digital currency in the country.

The plan comes in the wake of the Philippine government regulating popular app-based ride sharing services such as Uber and GrabCar. BOP hopes a similar legal framework will be created for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

“The government has realized that the key to our country’s prosperity is technology, and the next sector we must regulate within it is crystal clear – Bitcoin,” said BOP member Joe Maristela, adding that the cryptocurrency could prove to be a valuable conduit for remittances.

Also read: Fintech will lead PH to a new digital payments landscape: John Bailon, Satoshi Citadel

According to BOP, Filipinos who send remittances (domestic or international) through Bitcoin will save money compared to sending the same amount via traditional money transfer services.

BOP stressed such scheme not only benefits the remitter but also the country since the money saved in the transaction is pumped back into the economy through spending on goods or in businesses.

“Uber and GrabCar were regulated because they serve the Filipino people. They make traveling from point A to point B easier, cheaper, and more efficient. In much the same way, Bitcoin should be regulated because it also serves the Filipino people. It makes sending money from point A to point B easier, cheaper, and more efficient,” Maristela said.

Also read: Philippines’ fintech startup Satoshi Citadel acquires BuyBitcoin.ph

Formed in 2014, BOP is the first and only non-profit organisation registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission dedicated to advancing Bitcoin adoption in the Philippines. It was formed partly in response to the BSP’s advise to the local Bitcoin community to have an official organisation that could help the virtual currency’s advancement and regulation.

Maristela said BOP is looking forward to evangelize the benefits of Bitcoin across the Philippines by holding educational workshops, informal meetups, and other events.

Also read: BPO founder invests $100k in PH fintech startup SCI

Other newly elected BOP members are Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) CEO and founder John Bailon, and JJ Disini, the managing partner of Disini & Disini Law Office.

A serial entrepreneur in the healthcare industry, Maristela is also an angel investor who recently led the seed round of Bitcoin umbrella company SCI and the co-founder and publisher behind Cointelegraph Philippines.

“Trying to drive Bitcoin adoption is always an uphill battle. Yet I find confidence in knowing that Filipinos are some of the most tech savvy people in the world,” Maristela said. “Just look at where Uber and GrabCar were a year or two ago, and where they are today, with their recent legalization. I believe that Bitcoin can find similar acceptance in the Philippines.”

Also read:

PH venture builder Incubix Tech partners fintech startup VMoney

Philippines becomes first country to legalise ridesharing services; SG passes Bill to regulate third-party taxi apps

Philippine payment firm gains $1.5m fund to serve migrants, unbanked customers

PH fintech Ayannah wins Rising Expo 2015 startup contest in Indonesia

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.