A group of four coin enthusiasts form different parts of the world has developed and launched a new exchange in Philippines.
The founders of the new market want to make something more than just another trading place. Their goal is to make the system easier for the Philippian expats to use to send money home. I cannot tell you the exact number but according to survey around 3% of all Philippians work abroad to feed their families. Here is where Bitcoin comes as a tool to make remittance much cheaper than the standard bank operations.
As stated by Lasse Olessen – the co-founder of the exchange, Philippians prefer to send and receive their money through the cash deposits, the bank accounts have not earned enough trust yet, but by his words: “bitcoin is cash for the internet”. Actually, his words are a rather good explanation of what role bitcoin plays in the current economic.
The greatest downside of the whole trust-issue mood is that currently the only way coins can be bought are from any of the branch offices of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Although the number of the bank’s branches is 800, it still is not the most convenient way to transfer money. To sell the digital currency with the help of this service, one would need a Metrobank, BPI or BDO (Banco de Oro) account. BuyBitcoin.ph uses webpage’s interface and good old e-mails to send information from user to service to bank office and in the opposite direction.
Olessen in his interview on techinasia.com continues that, the Philippines’ economy is growing much faster than in most other Asian countries. They are also working on the new ways for the population to buy cryptocurrency. Without getting into the Philippian pesos, at the moment of this article being written the buy/sell rate for bitcoin via BuyBitcoin.ph is $941/$853.
While some Asian countries hold grudge against bitcoin, I mean remember “China accident”, Singapore decided that there is no need to interfere with the cryptocurrency and leave it on its own. This news is a source of optimism for Olessen, who believes that Bitocoin will be regulated by the Filipino government like others internet-related commodities without putting it to a situation where Philippines will lagging behind other countries in the Southeast region of Asia.
Overall, we can only hope that Olessens predictions are true and that Philippian bitcoin community will grow and prosper.