The Philippines has one of Asia’s most sophisticated and complete Bitcoin platforms which enables users to settle any money-related bills, payments, and transfers with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin platforms, including Coins.ph, BuyBitcoin.ph and Rebit.ph, are extremely popular in the Philippines because of their simple user interfaces and cost-effective services. Cointelegraph has used, tested, and evaluated each platform and here is a detailed review of the top three Bitcoin platforms in the country.
Users rank Coins.ph as one of the best and well-rounded Bitcoin applications globally, due to its connections with local banks, remittance networks, corporations, and merchants which enable users to do pretty much anything with Bitcoin. Coins.ph allows users to settle utility bills, pay tuition fees, credit card payments, purchase mobile credits, and purchase and sell Bitcoin through remittance branches, ATMs and banks.
One of its most intriguing services is the 24/7 cardless ATM Instant Payout, which allows users to cash out Bitcoin at the nearest bank ATM at any time of the day without transaction fees. Users can literally visit any bank ATM located in the Philippines and cash out their Bitcoin without any additional processes. A mobile pin number and authentication code sent to your email is all that is needed.
Originally, Coins.ph debuted as a Bitcoin-based remittance network. To this day, Coins.ph continuously improves its remittance services to make it easier for families and friends to receive payments. The majority of employees in major cities like Manila or Cebu support their families in the provinces with the salaries they receive. The most common method of sending payments around the country is the Lhuiller remittance network, but it charges substantially higher transaction fees and it is difficult to access for those families living in the countryside.
Coins.ph created a service called Door-to-Door Delivery, specifically for families who live in the province so that their familiy member who works in the city can send them payments to their home by delivery networks such as LBC.
Overall, Coins.ph offers 10 Bitcoin purchase and selling methods. The list can be seen below.
The bank method allows users to select from all of the region’s banks, which total up to 28 banks and tens of thousands of branches.
One disadvantage of using Coins.ph is its compliance with KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations which force users to verify their addresses and government issued IDs. To maximize the daily spending limit, users are required to take a selfie holding the government issued card. Although the customer service is top-notch, it can be difficult for users who are permanently based in the Philippines to go through all the verification stages.
In general, Coins.ph is definitely the best Bitcoin platform and application I’ve ever used in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S.
The oldest Bitcoin platform and exchange in the Philippines, Buybitcoin.ph remains one of the most reputable Bitcoin exchanges in the country. Its simplicity and minimalistic user interface has enabled the company to keep a loyal userbase for over three years. Unlike many Bitcoin exchanges, BuyBitcoin.ph operates without KYC regulations. That means users don’t have to give up their credentials or sensitive information to buy or sell Bitcoin. This feature of the exchange makes Buybitcoin.ph the most safe and reliable Bitcoin exchange to use in the region.
The steps in purchasing or selling Bitcoin on this platform is fairly simple. For buyers, Buybitcoin.ph requires an over-the-counter deposit to be submitted on the day of the order. Once the payment is made, Buybitcoin.ph sends the payment in a few hours. Again, the beauty of this platform is that all that it required from buyers is an email address and, of course, the Bitcoin address for the payment. For sellers, Buybitcoin.ph requires a bank account number and the holder’s name for the payment. Once the Bitcoin payment is received by Buybitcoin.ph the payment is instantly sent to the bank account.
The disadvantage of Buybitcon.ph against platforms like Coins.ph are its limited methods of purchasing and selling Bitcoin.
Rebit.ph is one of the most popular Bitcoin platforms in the Philippines and which has received massive exposure through mainstream media outlets over the past few years. Now under the investment company Satoshi Citadel Industries, Rebit.ph is a remittance and billing platform which consumers in the Philippines use to send both local and intenrational payments, and to also settle utility bills.
Rebit.ph started out as a remittance platform. Over time, it acquired Bill Ninja, a Philippine Bitcoin startup which allows users to settle any kind of bill in the Philippines using Bitcoin. The utility bill settlement service became as popular as its remittance platform, which allowed the company to sell itself to Satoshi Citadel Industries.
The platform is very simple in theory. Users send Bitcoin payments to Rebit.ph and the platform sends cash to remittance outlets or banks in its supported countries list. Currently, it supports Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Emirates, the UK, the US, and Vietnam. It takes around two to four days to send a cash payment to these countries using Bitcoin, with very low costs. I have personally sent cash payment using Bitcoin to my family in Korea.
There is currently no service or platform which replicates Rebit.ph. It is very inefficient and difficult to send global cash payments using Bitcoin due to the requirements of exchanges to send various licenses and documents for authentication.
In general, the Philippines has a very well established Bitcoin infrastructure and users can do pretty much anything with the digital currency. It requires minimal user information and is very cost-effective.