Asia Crypto Valley to Rise in PH

Asia Crypto Valley to Rise in PH

The Philippines is currently establishing the Crypto Valley of Asia, akin to a crypto and financial technology (fintech) hub in Zug, Switzerland, in a move to promote a fintech ecosystem and lure global blockchain companies.

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has collaborated with Northern Star Gaming & Resorts Inc. to develop the region’s crypto valley in the country as part of the government’s plan to “foster a fintech ecosystem [to] attract international blockchain companies to set up shop in the country,” a local report said.

“The CVA will consist of a 25-shop housing development inside the cyberpark developed in compliance with the strict security requirements for licensed overseas virtual exchanges (OVEs) located in CEZA. It will include co-working and living spaces, business incubation and acceleration hubs as well as back offices of OVEs and service providers to the global crypto space,” e27 reported.

“The goal is for the CVA to generate an economic boom that will allow more Filipinos to pursue careers in technology,” e27 conveyed, adding that third-party business providers (BPOs) will generate more jobs to the area.

The infrastructure shall attract more foreign investors and international fintech players to the country, as well as help the country “become one of the major offshoring destinations for fintech and blockchain related work,” according to Raul Lambino, CEZA administrator and chief executive officer.

Northern Star has pledged to invest $100 million over the next 10 years and has already obtained funds from various regional and global firms which will be located within the crypto zone, the report added.

“Crypto Valley of Asia and CEZA will put the Philippines on the global map of fintech and blockchain. Similar to other progressive jurisdictions such as Zug of Switzerland, we will create an environment that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and critical skills development thru education and BPO training,” Enrique Gonzalez, Northern Star chairman, said.

He added: “with strong global partners that have confirmed entry into our master-planned development, we are confident in the continued momentum in positioning the Philippines as the leading destination for blockchain offshoring.”

Earlier, the CEZA said it is expecting to earn about P3.6 billion or $68 million from the initial 25 offshore financial technology and virtual currency firms seeking to operate in the country’s economic zone.

CEZA Administrator Raul Lambino explained at that time the estimated profit included the $1 million (P53.42 million) each firm had pledged to invest and excluded is on top of the 0.1 percent share for each transaction value of registered digital coin exchanges.

The interest expressed by offshore companies to operate in CEZA “surpassed all our expectations,” Lambino said, adding that fintech operations are expected to create an initial 20,000 jobs.

“The overwhelming interest by offshore firms in financial technology solutions and cryptocurrency trading wanting to [operate in] the Cagayan Special Economic Zone has supassed all our expectations,” Lambino said.

Meanwhile, CEZA reported 17 firms have already paid in full and 19 more are in the pipeline.

“17 fintech and offshore virtual currency firms have already paid in full the application and license fees for the digital coin trading under Ceza … 19 companies are in the pipeline to pay their application and license fees to CEZA,” he added.

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