By Melissa Luz T. Lopez,
BANGKOK-BASED Global Crypto Hub has started operations in the Philippines, with plans to dangle an initial coin offering (ICO) and to roll out their own digital currency for investors and remittance services.
The cryptocurrency consulting firm unveiled its Manila hub yesterday as they look to tap investments through an ICO via usereum, their own digital currency.
Global Crypto Hub opened their knowledge center in Ortigas on Saturday, the first of 15 locations they are targeting to put up across Asia this year.
Global Crypto Hub co-founder Jagdish Pandya said yesterday that their firm is looking to engage Filipino clients and tap the huge remittances market here, as they work to secure regulatory approvals to offer these services.
“Cryptocurrency remittance is a very big business globally because it gives you lightning speed of transfer,” Mr. Pandya said in a briefing held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Pasig City yesterday.
Remittances from overseas Filipino workers totalled $25.318 billion from January to November 2017, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Pressed further, Mr. Pandya said their firm is currently staging expos to bring together investors and companies looking to tap cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for their operations, where the usereum digital token can be utilized.
“We are also in process to apply for licensing for exchange and ATM (automated teller machines) for cryptocurrency… Currently, we don’t accept any fiat currency,” Mr. Pandya added, noting that the plan is to be carried out this year.
For now, investors who want to subscribe to usereum can acquire units by buying a different virtual currency from a duly-registered exchange in the Philippines, which can later on be switched to the firm’s own token online.
As of December, two virtual currency exchanges are registered with the BSP: Rebittance, Inc. and Betur, Inc. more popularly known as Coins.ph. The regulator has been evaluating at least 12 applications from new players eyeing to formally set up cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines amid rapidly-growing interest in bitcoin and similar platforms.
These digital currencies may be used for paying goods sold through the Internet, which sometimes stands as an investment for its holders given its fluctuating valuations. It is a form of digital money that is not issued or guaranteed by a central bank, and can be sent or received by anonymous users internationally.
Mr. Pandya said they made an initial investment of $50,000 in the Philippines, which forms part of a $1-million investment as the firm plans to open similar hubs in Cebu and Davao. Global Crypto Hub maintains operations in Thailand, India, Malaysia and Dubai.
The global cryptocurrency market is currently valued at $400 billion, soaring from $17 billion in January 2017, Mr. Pandya added.