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The Philippines’ central bank will more tightly regulate crypto transactions to prevent the use of digital assets in criminal activities such as money laundering.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its Monetary Board recently approved guidelines on virtual asset service providers – entities that facilitate financial services via blockchain, bitcoin and other digital currencies – to cover new business models and activities, local media outlet reports.

“We have seen accelerated growth in the use virtual currency exchanges in the past three years, and it is high time that we broaden the scope of existing regulations in recognition of the evolving nature of this financial innovation and set out commensurate risk management expectations,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

The exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets; their transfer; and the safekeeping or administration of virtual assets or instruments enabling control over them shall be subject to the BSP’s licensing requirements, regulatory expectations for money service businesses, as well as anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and proliferation financing obligations, said the report.