Philippines Issues Crypto Industry Guidelines to Guard Against Money Laundering

New guidelines bring the nation's digital asset industry in line with Financial Action Task Force standards.

AccessTimeIconJan 26, 2021 at 10:29 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 11:01 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The Philippines central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has released new guidelines for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in a bid to prevent money laundering.

The BSP said in a document (see below) issued Jan. 25, that under the framework VASPs will need to apply for a license, a "certificate of authority," in order to operate as a money sending business.

They will also need to align with the central banks existing rules for financial service providers in areas such as liquidity and operational risk, IT risk, internal controls, consumer protection and anti-money laundering.

VASPs will now need a minimum capital requirement of 50 million Philippine pesos (just over $1 million) if they provide custody services, or a lesser amount of 10 million pesos ($208,000) if not.

The central bank's governor's office said in a policy statement that it supports "an environment that encourages financial innovation while safeguarding the integrity and stability of the financial system."

While virtual assets "have the potential to revolutionize the delivery of financial services," any benefits should be considered alongside any risks of use in money laundering, it said.

VASPs will also be responsible for conducting their own customer due diligence and must treat cryptocurrency transactions as cross-border wire transfers, keeping participant data for those over 50,000 pesos ($1,000).

Suspicious activity or single transactions of 50,000 pesos (US$10,000) will need extra due diligence and payout restrictions, said the BSP. 

The guidelines are based on international standards for regulators issued by the Financial Action Task Force, the document indicates.

Read the guidelines below:


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.