The Philippines Resort Will Soon Be Called “Bitcoin Island” – Here’s Why
The west coast of the small resort town in the center of the Philippines is becoming a “Bitcoin Island.“ Poached, a cryptocurrency wallet service, has been actively promoting the use of Bitcoin on the island for the past four months.
According to the vice president of Pouch Bill Mill, 120 companies– both large and small – on Boracay have so far agreed to accept bitcoin payments from customers.
He claimed that while promoting crypto-tourism, a fully Bitcoin-powered micro-economy is destined to be established.
Ethan Rose, an American expat, founded Pouch in 2021, a bitcoin wallet service that uses the Lightning Network to allow customers “to send and receive seamlessly [money] across borders.” The wallet is still in beta testing, according to its website.
The main goal of the company is to use faster and cheaper bitcoin transactions to enter the third largest market in the world, the multi-billion dollar Philippine remittance market. Also considered are digital nomads, those BTC enthusiasts who feel at home even when away from home.
The need to use Bitcoin in the country
Last year, Filipinos working abroad sent $31.4 billion home to support their families. Funds are frequently used to fund education, buy food and clothing, start a business, build a house, and pay for day-to-day expenses.
It is an essential survival tool for Filipino families. But financial institutions like banks keep excessive amount of money in transfer fees. The World Bank estimates that the cost of transmitting remittances is seven% on average in the world and more 5% in South Asia.
When compared to Sustainable Development Goals’ objective of reducing the costs of financial transfer to 3% of the total value of transactions by 2030 is far too expensive.
The central bank of the Philippines granted Pouch a license to handle Bitcoin and local peso transactions. While regulatory compliance has been easy in the Philippines, it remains “a significant and costly challenge” in the United States.
Cryptocurrencies and the Philippines
Philippines central bank governor opposes cryptocurrency ban. In a meeting, Philip Medaillethe legislative leader of the Bangko Sentral of the Philippines (BSP), the country’s central bank, discussed its digital currency management strategy.
This made sense for the head of the national bank since contrary to what he would like to believe, the digital currency has very little use for real payments, especially given the volatility of its price. He suggested referring to them as crypto resources to emphasize that money cannot be completely unpredictable.
Not only that, the country is making a lot of progress in the areas related to cryptocurrencies. Despite their strained relationship, Binance is currently assisting the Philippine government in developing cryptocurrency legislation.
It comes after the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advised users not to invest with Binance in early August.