MANILA - The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority ordered the temporary suspension of its virtual currency exchange licensees pending their move to Cagayan, its spokesperson said Tuesday.
At least 25 offshore virtual currency firms hold principal CEZA licenses, while 15 firms have regular licenses in the country. Only 3 firms are fully operational as of September.
Golden Millennial Quickpay, Liannet Technology Ltd and Asia Premier operate in Metro Manila, CEZA said. Their operations will be suspended until they transfer to Cagayan for "due diligence," CEZA spokesperson and Fintech and Cryptocurrency business officer Mike David said.
A Chinese-manned service provider of offshore cryptocurrency firm Golden Millennial Quickpay, alleged involved in illegal cryptocurrency operations preying on Chinese nationals was raided by authorities Friday. Some 270 employees were arrested.
"Ang operation nila temporary. We are pushed by our circumstances because of the lack of our facilities in Cagayan. After the incident, zero tolerance muna kami until movement to Cagayan," David said.
"Not that such incidents have already occurred but the suspension of all operations is more of due diligence on us," he added.
The move is slated to happen in 2020, David said.
Golden Millennial Quickpay, whose service provider is allegedly engaged in a cryptocurrency investment scam, faces a 90-day suspension and may even lose its license if wrongdoings are confirmed by investigators, David said.
"How can an exchange commit fraud? Maybe there are virtual agents or brokers that could have penetrated the exchange. We are alarmed by this incident. There are external factors, elements and we are looking into that also," he said.