The wait is over for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fans in the Philippines.
On Wednesday, Coins.ph announced that it will finally begin supporting BCH, the only true Bitcoin and the world’s only functional cryptocurrency, on its platform starting June. The move was made “in an effort to support lower cost blockchain based payments.”
Established in 2014, Coins.ph is a blockchain services platform operating under a Certificate of Registration from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), allowing it to “formally operate as a virtual currency exchange.” To date, Coins.ph is one of the two cryptocurrency exchanges allowed—so far—by the central bank to operate in the Philippines.
Coins.ph previously only accepted BTC, but the skyrocketing conversion fees has prompted the exchange to introduce additional blockchain-based services “to make access to digital currency cheap and fast.” Coins.ph has also started supporting Ethereum, “with an eye for future smart contract based financial services,” alongside Bitcoin Cash.
The announcement couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for Philippine residents. The Philippines is one of the most populous nations in the world, but the central bank described many Filipinos as “unbanked”—essentially people who do not have a bank accounts due to insufficient cash for keeping.
The country, however, has experienced a rise in virtual currency remittances as families of overseas workers started opting out of traditional remittance companies like Western Union in favor of cheaper remittance companies like Coins.ph, which makes it easier for customers to receive BTC on their phones and withdraw from a regular ATM.
Coins.ph, in particular, has seen its customer base grow to 5 million users in just four years after it launched its operations. The company offers an array of financial services, including topping prepaid load and card top-ups, bill payments, wallet transfers, online shopping, and most importantly, remittances. CEO Ron Hose said, “Our focus on creating financial inclusion to all Filipinos has propelled our growth to date.”
Unfortunately, current limits on the BTC network and Bitcoin Core’s focus on higher fees have resulted in people in developing countries like the Philippines to return to traditional remittance companies—a problem that will soon be solved as more crypto companies start supporting Bitcoin Cash.
Coins.ph has beta launched its Coins Exchange (CX) platform, which will serve as a digital currency exchange and an order-book exchange, in February. The CX platform accepts BCH, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and BTC, and will allow unlimited trading at lower fees once it officially launches.
“Using these new blockchain ecosystems, Coins customers will be able to benefit from a wide variety of services built on top of these technologies,” the company said in a statement. “Blockchain technology has played an important role in facilitating the rapid growth of the company, with many of its customers using Coins.ph’s platform as a fast, affordable way to send cross-border payments made possible due to its use of fast, low cost Blockchain settlements.”
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.