WHILE most Filipinos are still a bit wary of the rise of digital currencies, many are already embracing this technological disruption.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), millennials, and expats are now turning to Bitcoin, citing it as a good investment, according to a report by FT.com.

It said the Philippines, compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts, has a relatively higher rate of acceptance to Bitcoin and is exhibiting receptiveness to this blockchain technology.

This statement was reinforced by research and consulting company, Research and Tech Lab (RTL), which revealed the out of the 100 respondents, 24 percent of OFW Bitcoin users are working in Saudi Arabia.

Likewise, 50 percent of the OFW Bitcoin users are aged between 31 and 40 years old. It also revealed that a big chunk or 57 percent of Bitcoin users are male, 56 percent are OFW skilled workers and 33 percent hail from the Visayas.

It noted that OFWs turn to Bitcoin to avoid the hassle of opening a bank account, submitting necessary requirements, and then personally going to the bank to send money back home on a monthly basis.

Transacting in digital currencies also saves them from incurring high remittance charges by banks.

Millennials, on the other hand, are choosing to invest in Bitcoin because they feel left behind by more traditional investments particularly property and pension, the study said.

RTL said 54 percent of millennials who are around 26 to 35 years old feel that they earn more from their digital currency investments than in the interest rates given by banks. Virtual currency is also popular among foreigners and expats.

RTL’s research likewise highlighted that blockchain technology transactions in the Philippines originated from expat users from various countries.

The majority are from the US with 35 percent, followed by China with 22 percent and Canada with 21 percent. Purchases made are tax exempted, which is a major edge of cryptocurrencies, the study showed.

RTL’s study also revealed that 76.88 percent of respondents expressed positive feedback and interest over Bitcoin vis-à-vis investing in the stock market.

Bitcoin is said to be most popular, being the first established digital currency. Others are Etherium, created in 2013; Ripple, an open payment network where the currency is created and not mined; and Bitcoin Cash, which is described as a peer-to-peer electronic cash for the internet. (KOC)