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March 01, 2024

BSP reminds public against virtual asset firms

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued a warning on Feb. 14 against transacting with unregistered or unknown virtual asset service providers (VASPs) based abroad.

According to the BSP, there are only 20 registered VASPs in the country, with 12 currently active and in operation.

The BSP listed the following companies as the active and registered VASPs: COEX STAR, Appsolutely, COINS PH, Bexpress, Bloomsolutions, Frenetic, Moneybees Forex, Maya Philippines, Philbit, PDAX, TopJuan, and Zybi Tech.

The BSP reissued an advisory from August 17, 2022, reminding Filipinos that the BSP will not be able to provide legal recourse or protect consumers from abroad-based VASPs, which are considered high-risk activities.

The central bank encouraged consumers to verify if the virtual asset firm they are dealing with is supervised and regulated.

The BSP imposed a three-year ban on VASP licensing on Sept.1, 2022 and instructed all registered VASPs to only engage in safekeeping of assets in a memo dated Dec.7,2022.

In the latter memo, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said that there are persistent threats in the virtual asset world that affect practices and endanger customer funds, and all VASPs must ensure that customer virtual assets are not used for any business activities.

Fonacier also reminded all VASPs to assess the risk profile of liquidity providers and check their license, legal and supervisory framework, and regulatory capabilities.

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