Philippines’ digital transformation could make it a new crypto hub

Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, has recently acquired a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from the Bank of Spain in order to operate in the country. In its ambitious expansion plans that the cryptocurrency exchange is persisting despite the global jump and market slump in the cryptoverse, there is another country that Binance is looking toward — the Philippines.

In June, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, stated in a press briefing in Manila that the exchange is looking to obtain a VASP license in the Philippines. In addition to the VASP, Binance wants to get an e-money issuer license from the central bank of the country, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). While the former license would allow the platform to offer trading services for crypto assets and the conversion of these assets to the Philippines, the latter will allow it to issue electronic money.

The Philippines is the world’s 36th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the third-largest in Asia, according to data from the World Bank. Despite its small size, the country is considered to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world due to it being newly industrialized, thus marking a distinctive shift from agriculture to services and manufacturing.

Philippines gross domestic product in U.S. dollars 1997–2001. Source: Trading Economics

Cryptocurrencies are extremely popular in the Philippines due to the economic shift that the country went through when digital assets began to gain popularity. A recent survey has revealed that the Philippines ranks 10th in cryptocurrency adoption, with over 11.6 million Filipinos owning digital assets.

This is also evidenced in the fact that according to data from ActivePlayer.io, 40% of all the players of the popular play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie Infinity were from the Philippines. In fact, the game has also been a financial game-changer for many citizens in the country.

He added that around 70% of adults would be using a digital account for transactions by this time, which allows consumers to have additional options that can make them steer away from loan sharks.

Despite the current bear market, the Philippines still has a forward-thinking perspective about the adoption of digital assets and blockchain-based business models. This outlook puts the country in a good spot, with the potential to become a cryptocurrency hub.