THE CENTRAL BANK has granted crypto exchange platform an Advanced Electronic Payment and Financial Services (EPFS) license, covering the operation of the Coins Pro exchange.

“Being granted an advanced EPFS license is a huge milestone for and solidifies our position as the most trusted crypto platform in the Philippines. We have always been committed to working with regulators to ensure appropriate oversight of this fast-growing industry at the intersection of technology and finance,” Chief Executive Officer Wei Zhou said in a statement on Tuesday.

The EPFS license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) would also make Coins Pro, an order book exchange, available to users.

Clients can now purchase and trade digital currencies at larger volumes and for lower prices. Users can place market, limit, and stop-limit orders in over P20 spot trading pairs.

“Coins was the first crypto company in Asia to gain multiple licenses from a central bank back in 2017, and we have continuously operated within the Philippines’ legal framework,” Mr. Zhou said.

“The advanced EPFS license will facilitate more transparency and safeguards, as it ensures that we can continue to provide secure and reliable services to our users. It will also enable significant upgrades to Coins Pro, our proprietary order book exchange,” he added.

The crypto platform is the first virtual asset service provider (VSP) to be granted a type A EPFS license by the BSP, usually reserved for banks.

The advanced EPFS license is intended to further drive an inclusive and efficient national payment system as it covers financial institutions that facilitate online transactions through digital products and services.

“We truly appreciate the sincere effort that the BSP’s leadership has made to understand the digital assets space in order to craft well-thought-out rules that protect consumers while encouraging innovation. We’re excited to continue leading the development of this industry as a responsible player,” Mr. Zhou added. 

The BSP previously granted VASP and electronic money issuer (EMI) licenses in 2017. was also registered as a remittance and transfer agent in 2016.

“Coins observes strict compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, and is trusted by more than 18 million users to serve as the gateway between Web2 and Web3,” the company said.

The BSP wants digital payments to make up 50% of all transactions both in volume and value by 2023.

The central bank also wants the country to become a cashless society by 2025. — Keisha B. Ta-asan