Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced on Wednesday its plan to purchase a local company as a way to secure regulatory licenses in the country.

Kenneth Stern, Binance general manager for the Philippines, said they were at the “late stage talks” to buy a company that has virtual asset services provider (VASP) and electronic money issuers (EMI).

“We are on the end of acquiring a VASP license and EMI license in the Philippines. That is still on track,” 

Stern said, but he did not disclose a specific date.

VASP is an entity that facilitates the transfer or exchange of virtual assets, which are digital units that can be traded online and be used for payment or investment purposes. EMI, meanwhile, refers to online platforms that store monetary value usually used for making payments.

Acquiring a company is seen as the way to go for Binance given that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will not be accepting new VASP applications for three years starting September.

Stern is upbeat about the prospects of cryptocurrency adoption in the Philippines given its young demographics, who are the usual target market for this alternative form of investment.

“[The] demographic is prime for crypto usage. I think [this is] one of the reasons why we have a big adoption,” he explained, citing the rise of the play-to-earn crypto-based games.

Meanwhile, Binance teamed up with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center under the Department of Information and Communications Technology in holding a seminar to tackle common cybercrime activities involved in the cryptocurrency space.

Among these are fake cryptocurrency investments that promise high returns.

“Binance has been actively working with the Philippine government to ensure that Filipinos are ready for cryptocurrency adoption through the mitigation of risks in the sector,” Stern said.

“While we ensure that our platform has robust security and Know Your Customer (KYC) measures in place, we also want to aid the government in creating a fertile ground for fintech players to drive financial inclusion,” he added.

KYC is the process of verifying the account user’s identity as a way to mitigate fraud, money laundering and other cybersecurity risks for financial institutions.

Present in 180 countries, Binance’s crypto and blockchain-related services include investments, fan tokens and non fungible tokens.

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