The Philippines will limit the number of cryptocurrency exchanges it would allow to operate within the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in the country’s northern tip, CEZA head Atty. Raul Lambino said.
In an interview at the sidelines of the Global Blockchain Summit in Pasay City in the Philippines on Sunday, Lambino said his office is inundated with applications from blockchain-focused companies. He said that CEZA has received from 60 applications from offshore companies seeking to establish a cryptocurrency exchange in the region.
“We will not be accommodating them all. From the more than 60 [digital currency exchange] applications that we received, we will only approve 25 operators.”
The official said all of the applicants are being carefully reviewed as his office is thoroughly scrutinize all the applications and will announced those approved later on.
Meanwhile, Lambino added that he is expecting to generate up to $1 billion in investments within the next five years and create thousands of jobs from the growing number of blockchain projects that are interested in opening shop inside CEZA.
He expressed confidence that the Philippines will emerge as one of the most important markets in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech industries.
“Within the next two years, we are looking at around $200 million in fresh investments from these blockchain projects. But within the next five years, we are expecting at least $1 billion,” Lambino said.
Lambino is pushing for the development of northern Philippines as the next Silicon Valley or the FinTech City of Asia by transforming the region into a blockchain and fintech friendly place.
He added that the airport in Tuguegarao has been upgraded to accommodate more international flights, making access to Cagayan Valley more convenient. The road network in the region is also being improved for faster mobility.
Internet service, one of the most important component in the blockchain space, is also being modernized to meet the expected rise in data and speed requirements. Convergys is set to roll-out a 5G network in Cagayan as part of the improvement, Lambino said.
In previous interviews, Lambino bared his plan to establish a “technological garden” in Cagayan Valley, with the scenic Sierra mountain range and nearby beautiful white sand beaches in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
Hong Kong-based Chinese firms Changwei International Co., Ltd., State Trust Union Capital Holdings, and Xin Peng Group, were the early entrants in CEZA blockchain community.
The others are Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, Asia Premier International Ltd., AXN Holdings Ltd., Coin Bundle, Hachiman Technology Sdn. Bhd., Hong Kong Yuen Shing Hong Ltd., Hybrid Block, IPE Global Pte. Ltd., Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Company Ltd., Mobile Pole Position Pte. Ltd., MX Exchange Ventures, Northern Orient Resources, Inc., Pacificnet Strategic Investments Ltd., Paradigm Technologies Unlimited Solutions Corp. , Super Angels Ventures Ltd., Superieur Tech. Pte. Ltd., Stepwyze LLC., and Ultra Precise Investments Ltd.