Despite the bad publicity that Bitcoin, the phenomenal digital currency, has garnered lately, particularly the high-profile closure of Japan-based exchange Mt. Gox, a Filipino-owned trading platform has just opened its services to engage the world in Bitcoin trading.
The site, mBTC.ph, is the brainchild and operated by the same set of people behind AltoCirrusPlus, which has invested heavily in cloud computing services.
The site has been in development for the past three months, according to mBTC.ph technology head Macoy Mejia. The company is based in Pasig City.
In a statement, the company said the main idea of mBTC.ph is to provide users with a separate wallet, which they can transact with other users rather than putting all their Bitcoins in a single wallet.
“This provides another layer of anonymity on top of the already very anonymous Bitcoin transaction process,” the company said.
The developers also touted the site’s use as a platform where users selling their wallets can display their wares on a public board and anyone can make a “bid” for the Bitcoins.
“Of course, the seller still has the last say on who among the bidders has the best offer before consummating the deal,” it said.
According to Mejia, mBTC.ph offers everyone a “clean” wallet that can be used solely for trading.
“mBTC.ph goes beyond the usual trading platform that we are used to seeing popping up everywhere now since it provides an ecosystem of safe and secure transactions with the lowest guaranteed transaction fees,” it added.
Curiously, the site’s name is the same as that of the acronym of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (MBTC), the country’s largest bank, which is more known as Metrobank.
The country’s local banks have yet forayed into Bitcoins, leaving the trading of the digital currency into the hands of a handful of local Bitcon exchanges.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, for its part, issued an advisory on Thursday, March 6, warning the public that digital currency “exchanges are not regulated by the BSP or by any regulatory authority in the country at this time”.
“Thus, there are no existing regulations which would specifically protect consumers from financial losses if an organization that exchanges or holds virtual currencies fails or goes out of business,” it said.