Bitcoin has been a favorite remittance solutions for several developing nations over the past few years. Due to it slower transaction fees, global appeal, and convenience when sending cross-border transfers, Bitcoin and remittance are like two peas in a pod. But the success of BTC-based remittances is getting attention from authorities in The Philippines, as they mull over introducing new regulations.
The Future of Bitcoin Remittance In The Philippines
Sending money back home across the ocean is a costly and time-consuming business. Bank transfers are out of the question in The Philippines, as most citizens have no bank account to use. Traditional remittance solutions, such as Western Union, are expensive and require recipients to pick up funds in one of their offices.
But Bitcoin solves all of these problems, by reducing transaction fees to a bare minimum, and not requiring a bank account. In fact, all one needs is a mobile device and access to a human teller to convert incoming Bitcoin transactions to local currency. Various companies in The Philippines rely on Bitcoin for remittance purposes, and they have seen their fair share of success so far.
Unfortunately, it appears the Filipino government and central bank are expressing their concern over Bitcoin remittances as of late. Considering how the volume of transactions related to BTC is rising quickly, they feel the time is now to introduce new regulation. Money laundering and consumer protection are mentioned as the primary reasons for this decision.
Officials are putting together a plan that will put virtual currency exchange operators under a more formal regulatory framework. For now, it remains unclear what could change exactly in the coming months, but more a stricter KYC procedure and AML guidelines are not out of the question. Right now, it is estimated Bitcoin transactions amount to US$2m of remittance transfers every month.
This news does not have to be a bad thing for the usage of Bitcoin in the Filipino remittance sector, though. Until we know what the government plans to change exactly, there is little point in speculating about what could happen. In fact, these new guidelines may even legitimize the usage of Bitcoin in The Philippines moving forward.
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