BSP to stop accepting new virtual asset service provider applications on Sept. 1

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2022 03:53 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will stop accepting new application on Sept. 1 for virtual asset service provider (VASP) licenses which allow financial firms to engage in cryptocurrency exchange.

"The Bangko Sentral will no longer entertain nor accept new applications beginning 01 September 2022," it said in a statement. 

This is part of the BSP's approved modified approach to the grant of VASP licenses, it said.

It involves closure of the regular application window for new VASP licenses for a period of 3 years and the granting of new VASP license only to existing BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFI), the central bank said. 

Existing BSFIs with strong risk management systems, client suitability assessment and customer onboarding practices as well as intensified financial consumer education may still apply, it said.

“Recent market developments have necessitated the adoption of a modified VASP licensing approach, which strategically shifts the focus to assessing the existing Bangko Sentral-registered VASPs' overall performance and risk management systems, their impact on financial services and financial inclusion agenda, and their contribution towards the achievement of the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap (DPTR) objectives," BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla said. 

UnionBank, for example, earlier said it would slowly rollout cryptocurrency exchange service to select consumers to become the first universal bank to offer virtual asset on its mobile app. 

Meanwhile applications that have passed stage 2 of the licensing process on or before Aug. 31 will be processed and assessed. Incomplete applications will be considered closed, the BSP said.

The BSP earlier closed the application for digital banks in August last year after granting licenses to 6 players to first assess the overall impact of the technology to the financial market.

-- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

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