Here’s Where You Can Get Your Bitcoins In The Philippines

Just recently, Bitcoin has made its mark on the internet.

In general, the Philippines has a very well established Bitcoin infrastructure and Bitcoins users can do pretty much anything using the digital currency.

“Many online transactions here are being made by cash deposits in physical locations, and Bitcoin is cash for the internet, so it’s a good fit,” said BuyBitcoin.ph co-founder Lasse Olesen said to Yugatech.

“It gives you instant access to a global market where you can receive payments practically for free and, if you want, exchange to cash locally. If you’re a small merchant, accepting international payments through PayPal or bank wires is just not feasible with their fees.”

The origins of the cryptocurrency can be traced in the year 2008 when a domain under the name Bitcoin.org was registered online.

After two months, a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ was passed around a cryptography mailing list. This move became the first link of the mysterious figure, Satoshi Nakamoto, to Bitcoin.

After two years, in 2010, a handful of merchants started accepting Bitcoin as a mode of payment.

One of the first products purchased with Bitcoins was a pizza. With the current rate of the cryptocurrency, the amount used for the pizza would be valued around $100 million.

However, in 2011, due to Bitcoins’ traceless feature, an online marketplace for illegal drugs named the Silk Road used it as a mode of payment.

Now, after a decade, its rate has climbed very high. One Bitcoin is now equivalent to PHP 587,158.44

And if you have finally decided to invest in it, here is the information you need in order to buy your Bitcoins here in the PH.

Bitcoin Wallet

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You can’t start using Bitcoin without having your Bitcoin Wallet.

A Bitcoin wallet is an app or website where you can manage your Bitcoin private keys.

It contains secret codes that you use in order for you to spend your Bitcoins.

Without a wallet, you wouldn’t be able to receive, store or spend your Bitcoins.

Some Bitcoin wallets here in the PH are Bitbit.cash, coins.ph, coinbase, and blockchain.

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are physical electronic devices built for securing Bitcoins.

These wallets must be connected your computer, or phone in order for you to spend your Bitcoins.

Ledger Nano S, KeepKey and Trezor are some of the most popular hardware wallets.

Hot Wallets

These are wallets that you can access through internet-connected devices such as computers, mobile phones or tablets.

And since your private keys or secret codes are generated on the internet, there is a possibility that they are not 100% secured.

However, they are good to use since they are convenient in terms of spending and receiving payments and they can be accessed on multiple devices.

There are several options to for to put pesos in your wallet in order for you to convert it to Bitcoin.

You just need to tap the “Cash In” option on the app and then pick which way you want to load it up.

Here is the list of possible centers where you can load up your Bitcoin wallets:

7-11, Cebuana Lhuillier, M Lhuillier, UnionBank, Gcash, Online Bank Transfer (BPI, Security Bank, UnionBank), Over the Counter Bank (Chinabank, UnionBank, BPI), Remittance Center (Bayad Center, LBC Bills Xpress, M Lhuillier E Pay), Malls (Robinson’s and SM Business Centers via DragonPay).

Here’s Where You Can Buy Your Bitcoins

The Philippines has one of Asia’s most sophisticated and complete Bitcoin platforms which enables users to pay and receive Bitcoins.

Here are some of the best apps you can use.

Buybitcoin.ph

[caption id="attachment_630195" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: Rappler[/caption]

Coins.ph [caption id="attachment_630192" align="aligncenter" width="651"] Image Credit: Coins.ph[/caption]

Rebit.ph [caption id="attachment_630199" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Linkedin[/caption]

The Future of Bitcoins

Though risky, these cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are promising low-cost remittance platforms especially for Filipino workers and is an investment for whoever who wants to try using it.

An interesting turn nowadays is the acceptance of Bitcoins by educational institutions. Some universities abroad have added Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of their curriculum. Some also have accepted Bitcoin as a means of payment of their fees.

Maybe it is too soon to tell if Bitcoins will be the future’s mode of payment, however, it is undeniably a new accepted mode of currency besides the mainstream.

And though some said that the cryptocurrency will end badly, Jehan Chu, a cryptocurrency trader predicted that Bitcoin may be able to reach a rate of $50,000 by the end of 2018.

“I really think in 2018 not only will we see $50,000 price levels for bitcoin but I think we’re going to be seeing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology emerging from its adolescence,” he said to Express.

Also Read: Fruit of Hard Work—Here’s How Lester Yu’s Fruitas Grew Into More Than 800 Stores

Featured Image Credit: Bitcoin News

From Paper To Digital: E-Peso Pushes To Become Legal Tender For Internet Transactions In The Philippines

When shopping online, Filipinos have a number of different ways to pay for their purchases. Payment via credit card, Paypal and similar services, and bank deposits are the most commonly accepted modes of payment by both small and large online merchants. A number of online shops also accept Smart Money, the electronic wallet from one of the Philippines largest telco, and GCash, the counterpart of rival Globe. Small online shops may also accept payments via pawnshops and other money remittance services, while Lazada offers cash on delivery. And of course, there’s Bitcoin, a relative newcomer to the Philippine e-commerce scene.

As you can see, there are various means for Filipinos to pay for online goods. This may have prompted Representative Kimi Cojuangco of the 5th District of Pangasinan to draft House Bill 4914 or the “E-Peso Act of 2014”.

E-Peso is the Electric Equivalent of Paper Peso

The proposed bill pushes to recognize E-Peso as the electronic legal tender because Congresswoman Cojuangco believes “the Philippines is lacking an ‘official medium of exchange or money for the internet’.” The E-Peso, therefore, will be the electronic equivalent to the paper peso.

[caption id="attachment_51141" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Image Credit: starlight427.wordpress.com Image Credit: starlight427.wordpress.com[/caption]

As legal tender, the E-Peso can be used to pay for not only goods and services but also debts and taxes via online transactions. The digital currency will also be available in banks throughout the country.

The bill is still awaiting the stamp of approval from the Philippine law-making body. But should it become law, the Philippine central bank will have to study it and post bitcoin cryptocurrencies.

[caption id="attachment_51131" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Image Credit: CoinDesk.com Image Credit: CoinDesk.com[/caption]

The knowledge the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) acquires via this research will be used in deciding what technology or system to use in implementing the E-Peso. In the first 2 years of implementation, the E-Peso in circulation will be limited to Php1 billion.

Also Read: 2 Ways To Boost Broadband Internet Speed In The Philippines

Will E-Peso Replace Bitcoin?

No. In fact, they may work great together.

Ron Hose, CEO of Coins.ph, a local bitcoin exchange and processing provider, believes that the E-Peso may actually “boost bitcoin’s credibility” in the country. He further adds “both bitcoin and the E-Peso could co-exist in the market.”

[caption id="attachment_51181" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Image Credit: Boring.ph Image Credit: Boring.ph[/caption]

“The borderless nature of bitcoin will augment the E-Peso perfectly. The E-Peso could help provide a locally stable currency, while bitcoin will provide connectivity to global merchants and financial services,” Hose told CoinDesk.

Criticisms and Suggestions from Netizens

Although there were those who praise the bill and its good intentions, some were quick to point out problems. Some say the banking system needs to be fixed first and Philippine telcos become more efficient first as well as a number pointing to potential security issues like hackers.

[caption id="attachment_51121" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Image Credit: Hacker9.com Image Credit: Hacker9.com[/caption]

Meanwhile, Luis Buenaventura, head of product at Satoshi Citadel Industries, wrote a detailed assessment of the E-Peso bill. Although he was “initially very encouraged” by the bill, he notes a number of adjustments that needed to be made to make it more feasible. One issue he raised is the possibility of how the bill—as it is currently written—may “drive Bitcoin underground” in the Philippines. He also notes the bill will be costly for banks but provide them not many incentives.

In sum, he says:

“Overall, the E-Peso bill in its current form is an economic vehicle heading in the correct direction, but perhaps using the wrong set of tires.”

Also Read: Jobless Growth In The Philippines, But This App Might Be The Solution