PayMaya rolls out cryptocurrency feature in app

PAYMAYA Philippines, Inc. has rolled out a cryptocurrency feature in its mobile app, it said in a statement last week.

The new feature, which will allow its users to buy and trade digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, will help make cryptocurrencies more accessible to the public, PayMaya said.

Other cryptocurrencies available for trading in the PayMaya app are Cardano, Chainlink, Uniswap, Solana, Quant, Polkadot, Polygon, and Tether, with more currencies coming in the future.

“We are very excited to launch this feature, a big step up in making crypto accessible to every Filipino through their PayMaya app,” PayMaya President Shailesh Baidwan said.

“Being at the forefront of digital payments and financial services, expanding into crypto is part of our roadmap as we build the Philippines’ most accessible end-to-end money platform… We see the rise in popularity of crypto, especially among our digital-first younger users,” he added.

The feature will be integrated into users’ main PayMaya account so there is no need for an upgrade or another application, the company said.

Users can trade cryptocurrency with no extra fees and directly from their PayMaya wallet, it added.

PayMaya’s crypto feature was developed in cooperation with Coinbase Institutional.

The company received its virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from the central bank in January.

As of December 2021, PayMaya, through their various platforms, had more than 44 million users.

Based on Statista Global Consumer Survey data from 2019 to 2021, the country ranked 3rd out of 56 in terms of cryptocurrency usage, with three out of 10 Filipinos saying they either owned or used digital currency.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in December said virtual currency transactions, which include cryptocurrencies, totaled P106 billion in the first half of 2021, with nearly 20 million transactions.

The BSP strengthened security measures for cryptocurrency in 2021 including those for VASPs, which are subject to the central bank’s licensing requirements and anti-money laundering obligations.

A VASP, based on Circular No. 1108 of the BSP, “refers to any entity that offers services or engages in activities that provide facility for the transfer or exchange of virtual assets” such as cryptocurrencies. — Tobias Jared Tomas

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