The companies will reportedly be the first Blockchain and crypto-related firms to legally operate in the Philippines after the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) established a fintech hub with the goal of creating an Asian “Silicon Valley”. CEZA is a state-owned corporation that manages the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
“We are about to licence 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange. They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, Koreans. They can go into cryptocurrency mining, Initial Coin Offerings, or they can go into exchange.”
Lambino stressed that crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto exchange transactions should be conducted offshore, in order to avoiding running afoul of Philippine law.
Firms are expected to generate employment in exchange for the tax breaks they will receive. CEZA will also require the companies to invest at least $1 mln over two years and pay up to $100,000 in licence fees. Lambino added that CEZA is also looking to build a Blockchain and fintech university to provide skilled employees for the new companies.
Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines issued an advisory on cryptocurrency Cloud Mining contracts, demanding that they be classified as securities.