IMF Encourages Philippines Central Bank To Monitor Cross-Border Crypto Transactions
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IMF Encourages Philippines Central Bank To Monitor Cross-Border Crypto Transactions

January 2, 2020      Prashant Jha

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)  in its Technical Assistance Report paper has urged Phillippines’s Central Bank to monitor the flow of crypto transactions moving outside the country. The paper published by IMF was a part of their Monetary mission in Phillippines started back in July 2019. Under this mission, the IMF also delivered a lecture which looked into the role of crypto assets in macroeconomics whose summary was mentioned in the report as well.  The summary read,

“The Philippines may become an important market for crypto-assets, as the BSP recently authorized operations for three more virtual currency exchanges (VCE), bringing the total number of approved VCE to 10.”

The IMF report noted that the Philippines had seen significant progress in terms of crypto adoption and regulations where the country’s regulatory body The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has permitted three more crypto exchanges, taking the total number of operational crypto exchanges to 10. The IMF also recommended the central bank to work with these exchanges and start collecting data on the flow of cryptocurrencies outside the country. The paper suggested that analyzing these data every quarter would help monitor the impact of these crypto-assets on the macroeconomics of the country.

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The report also detailed the structure of data collection and suggested that the central bank should divide the data by the origin country of the transaction and the destination country of the transaction. It further recommended collecting data on the parties involved in the transactions as well.

IMF Recommends Close Monitoring of Crypto Transactions

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas(BSP), the regulatory body of Philippines registers crypto service providers as a cross-border remittance and transfer company which must adhere by Anti-Money Laundering laws, Countering the Financing of Terrorism, and risk management.  Although BSP currently has a positive outlook towards crypto assets given their regulatory assistance towards crypto exchanges, the governor of the BSP has warned how these virtual currencies could aid criminals in carrying out illicit activities.

The recent IMF report highlighted the need for central banks to monitor these crypto transactions especially the once moving out of the country to keep a track if these virtual assets are ever used for illicit activities by criminals. While many are divided on the state of regulations for cryptocurrencies as well as the level of regulations, but given the controversies surrounding the decentralized space, regulatory precautions are the best measures available to avoid illicit use of these digital assets.

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Prashant Jha
Prashant Jha

An engineering graduate, Prashant focuses on UK and Indian markets. As a crypto-journalist, his interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.