C PASS, Cebu City’s crypto firm, gets EU go signal to operate

Photo by Pierre Borthiry - Peiobty on Unsplash.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Homegrown virtual asset company C PASS has been issued a license to extend its send-and-receive cryptocurrency operation to Europe.

This was announced by the company’s Vice President, Charlie Seo, who added that they will officially launch their digital wallet service and their stable coin, C PESO, for Europe this March.

“This will enable users to send, receive, and swap cryptocurrency within the European Union and those based elsewhere but transacting with clients there,” Seo said.

For the Philippine market, C PASS’s cryptocurrency operation will be available to a limited few as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) continues to process the company’s Virtual Asset Service Provider application.

“We are preparing for the sandbox framework. It’s a BSP safety net. They will look at our systems and processes as we operate in real time conditions,” he explained. C PASS met with BSP officials recently.

C PESO is the first peso-based stable cryptocurrency developed in the Philippines primarily for use in local government transactions while also catering to private enterprise.

While gearing up for limited local operations, C PASS has also applied for a separate license for conduct remittance and foreign exchange operations.

It has also applied for a Electronic Money Issuer license in Europe and plans to file a similar application once a BSP ban against new EMI applications gets lifted this year.

The license to operate in Europe and the limited local operation under the auspices of the BSP means convenience for those who want easy access to send, receive and swapping cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and the stable coins USDT, the C PASS -issued C PESO, and others.

It will also greatly support the Cebu City Government’s intent to transition to cashless transactions, on top of crypto, for payment of real property and business taxes, as well as foreign tourists and small and medium local enterprises.

Exploring the use of the stablecoin for City Hall-related payments was the subject of an April 2021 Memorandum of Understanding between the City Government of Cebu and C PASS, leading to the development of C PESO.

The mainstream use of stablecoins in local government transactions had intrigued key persons within the Finance Committee because of its potential to be virtually un-hackable and transparent.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia, chairman of the Committee on Finance and Appropriations and the Local Finance Committee in 2021, was among the exponents of adopting blockchain technology. “We are looking forward to the eventual rollout,” he said, adding that “this is something we’ve been preparing for since 2021.”