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Philippines On the Cryptocurrency Wave: How Casinos Are Embracing the New Era of Digital Money

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By , Updated On May 23, 2024

Two years ago, the cryptocurrency market in the Philippines crashed, dashing the hopes of many. No thanks to the pandemic, many internet cafes shut down, huge sums were lost, and digital money stakeholders literally went out of business. 

Now in 2024, there is an impressive market resurgence that commentators like the New York Times called a “roaring back like a lion.” Cryptocurrency in the Philippines is back and the gaming industry, particularly casinos, are embracing among its fore fronters.

Right in the heart of Quezon, a city known for its hustles and bustle, Jonie Bon, an ex-IT guru, recently opened an NFT X street. This business outfit is a cryptocurrency internet cafe for gamers and crypto enthusiasts to earn tokens as they enjoy their favorite games. Many people flock to this cafe for iGaming and other casino activities because when they win or complete a task, they are rewarded with crypto tokens.

The cryptocurrency wave is not only sweeping Filipinos living in the country; citizens who are abroad are returning home to participate in what’s looking like the new gold mine. According to Straitstimes, “Overseas Filipino workers, known as OFWs, are also returning to the country to earn crypto as metaverse Filipino workers, or MFWs.”

On the streets of Manilla, cryptocurrency billboards are beginning to resurface and transactions in digital currency have witnessed a 70% increase in just two months. The reason for this surge is the embracement of crypto by casino players and stakeholders.

Fact: Nearly 30% of the world’s video gamers that earn in cryptos are based in the Philippines


Reasons for the Boom of Cryptocurrency in the Philippines

Although close to 40% of Filipinos don’t have a bank account, almost every home has access to reliable internet. As such, even in rural areas, people can get onboarded leveraging their access to information online.

Reasons for the Boom of Cryptocurrency in the Philippines

Also, popular digital currencies like Bitcoin have made an impressive comeback, with the market value of this coin hovering around $68,000. Since it has never been this high in recent times, many speculators are optimistic that better fortunes might just still be ahead. This speculation fuels hope among vendors and other stakeholders, accounting for the multiple outlets of cryptocurrency in the Philippines.


How Casinos are Leveraging Cryptocurrency in the Philippines?

Many video and iGames have challenges or tasks embedded in them for players. When players complete these tasks or overcome the challenge, they are rewarded with small tokens, most of which they convert into local currencies – pesos. What many players discover is that upon conversion, they get up to twice the country’s minimum wage. 

As such, it’s not unusual to find casino players scout for low deposit games with crypto rewards and spend nearly the whole day with it. Review platforms like that analyze gaming sites play key roles in guiding new players. Low minimum deposit iGaming sites reviewed by are usually authentic, with a speedy payout. Filipino igamers benefit from this review website to select the reliable gaming sites that ensure continued digital currency payment.

How Casinos are Leveraging Cryptocurrency in the Philippines

Since digital currencies’ landscape is not static, Philippine casinos are also becoming dynamic by investing in technologies that are crypto-compliant. Examples of such include the adoption of blockchain technology and establishment of secure digital wallets. These aim at making gaming outcomes transparent and reliable.


Is Cryptocurrency Legal in the Philippines?

In the Philippines cryptocurrency is a legal tender. The country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued a circular No. 944 in 2017 recognizing digital currencies as a lawful legal tender. However, based on the provisions of this circular, exchangers are mandated to register with the BSP and comply with relevant laws against money laundering and terrorism.

Furthermore, in 2021, BSP issued a comprehensive guideline on how to invest in cryptocurrency in the Philippines. The guideline mandated Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) or intending ones to be licensed by the BSP and carry out comprehensive KYC measures.

Regulating digital money alongside the BSP is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Although their roles are primarily advisories, they occupy a critical trophic level in the food chain of cryptocurrency business in the Asian country. SEC ensures that investors are aware of the possible risks in the market and also ensure that iCO companies are duly registered with them.

So, is cryptocurrency legal in the Philippines? Yes, but not official. That means that while no one would be arrested or punished for trading in it, it doesn’t come as the country’s officially recognized monetary exchange means.


List of Cryptocurrency in the Philippines

Whether for trading or investments, stakeholders have a couple of options with digital coins. However, not all of them are of equal popularity among investors and gamers. The list of cryptocurrency in the Philippines based on their popularity level are:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Stablecoins (Binance)
  • Altcoins
  • Memecoins
  • GameFi

Golden Bitcoin Cryptocurrency. New Virtual money concept.

Some centralized and BSP-approved outlets also facilitate crypto exchanges in the Philippines. These include, Binance, Bybit, KuCoin, and PDAX. Besides having legal backing to buy and sell cryptos, these platforms have won the confidence of many customers.


How to Invest in Cryptocurrency in the Philippines?

The greatest risk with cryptocurrency investment is its volatility. While the tides may be up now, events of the past teach that things can sharply get so low and down that huge investments will go down the drain. However, with the right information and careful investment plan, it can turn out to be the best business ever.

If you are keen on learning how to invest in cryptocurrency in the Philippines, here are the five key steps to take.

  • Find a crypto exchange of your choice
  • Create and verify your account on your preferred exchange
  • Set up your digital wallet
  • Deposit funds
  • Order your crypto


Bottom Line

A former SEC commissioner, Kelvin Lee, once remarked at a Manilla conference about digital currency regulation: “We want a safe space to operate well, but how can you operate well if the industry itself, if the space itself, looks unruly, unwieldy, illegal?”

Guaranteeing safety, decency, stability, and legality remains the puzzles around cryptocurrency that needs to be decoded for sustainability.