Interest in bitcoin rises

AN expert sees a growing interest in cryptocurrency or bitcoins in the Philippines by next year.

Israel Keys, president of Bloom Solutions, whose business utilizes bitcoins in remittance transactions, believes the move of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to issue a license to Coins.ph as an electornic money issuer and remittance agent, will welcome more bitcoin transactions in the Philippines.

“I think you will see more and more of them over the next year. There will also be more and more exchanges to pop up in the Philippines,” said Keys.

Bitcoin is an electronic currency created by a mathematical computation. In essence, they are “electricity converted into long strings of code that have money value.” In addition, it is a digital currency which any bank or central bank has no control over.

For Keys, the interest in bitcoins is driven by its story of high growth. One bitcoin is now valued at $10,000 when it was priced at $1,000 at the start of the year.

“One of the reasons for the interest is the rise. People have seen how much it has risen. Interest drives interest,” he said. To invest in bitcoins, he said one can buy a value as low as .00001 bitcoin.

Bitcoins, he said, is valuable when it comes to remittances. Since it has no centralized clearing agency, it means reduced transaction cost.

However, Keys cautioned the investing public on scams fronting bitcoin use. He said that with the rising interest in bitcoins, some are exploiting its popularity for their own benefit. (JOG)
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