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Japanese investors set up bitcoin exchange in Cebu

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - January 9, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Japanese investors have entered the Philippine virtual currency exchange industry through bitcoin, in partnership with Filipino capitalists to form the Japhil Global Coins Corporation (J-PGC).

Headquartered in Cebu, the company will bring to the Philippines the highly secured Japanese security technology that protects the fragile cyber threats, which constantly haunts the digital trading platform, including bitcoin exchanges.

In a press conference yesterday, Takanori Okuno, the company's director said that the Japanese investors are now seriously looking at the Philippines as their fertile ground for investments in Asia.

The bitcoin exchange is just the initial entry of the company, as it plans to establish more services under the virtual currency exchange, along with other big ticket corporate social responsibility programs, like scholarship, among others.

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. People could buy and sell bitcoins by tapping dealers or brokers or going to bitcoin exchanges.

Holders could also look for services or goods whose merchants accept bitcoin payments.

Last week, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reiterated its bud to regulate the bitcoin, amid the global hype on the cryptocurrency.

According to J-PGC president Emmanuel Roa Duterte, the company is formalizing its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)registration, as well as its license from the BSP.

The BSP has so far authorized two virtual currency exchanges in the Philippines, namely Betur or more popularly known as coins.ph, and Rebittance.

Five more applicants (including J-PGC) have proposed to be authorized by the BSP, but have yet to secure final approval from the bank regulator.

The Japanese group led by Okuno, along with Duterte and other J-PGC executive had already made their courtesy call with Department of Finance (DOF) chief Carlos Dominguez III, on its intent to enter into the bitcoin market potential in the country.

J-PGC's backup network includes its connection with 19 states around the world that have strong foothold on bitcoin exchange.

In the Philippines alone, latest data available from the BSP showed that bitcoin transactions averaged $8.8 million a month in January to June this year.

Under the guidelines of the BSP, it only regulates the virtual currency exchanges or the conversion or exchange of government-issued currencies into a virtual currency.

According to BSP, if bitcoins be used as investments in the Philippines, the BSP could team up with the corporate regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). (FREEMAN)

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