I have been living in the Philippines since 2012, when I purchased a small office and started an incubator to play with ideas that revolved around solving problems I saw in the Philippines. Over the next couple of years, that morphed into Tagcash Ltd, which was formed in 2014, in Makati. The focus of the company was Payments and Rewards, and we initiated our Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) Application with the BSP. Unfortunately after a few months we found that we would have to run all of our hardware/software operations within the Philippines, but we wanted to keep our tech stack within Amazon AWS, and that was not compliant with BSP regulations on cloud outsourcing. That took a while to resolve itself in fact, a couple more years. By 2017, we had moved to using Permissioned Blockchain Distributed Ledger technology for creating and operating rewards, and we applied again in November 2017 for our EMI License.
We demonstrated our solutions to the core IT team at the BSP in January 2018. The BSP is forward thinking, and is open to new ideas as long as the existing regulations are followed. We refined our processes to fit regulations, and on June 19 we were issued our EMI authorization letter.
Our tech solution combines centralized and decentralized methods for moving money and value through our system. Multichain.com open source blockchain software is used to create and control individual assets, of which PHP is just one. Personal and Merchant accounts can be created instantly from website or mobile apps, with limits set dependent on KYC Verification. For the more technically adept, wallet nodes can be spun up using Multichain, and public/private keys created that are permissioned to send and receive PHP, but only verified merchants can do this, due to the BSP restrictions that limit how much money can be received by personal wallets over a 30 day period.
Unlike most cryptocurrencies, all transactions on the Tagcash Blockchain are free, no transaction fees whatsoever. This solution enables merchants and other EMI wallets or banks to settle instantly between each other, without even needing to use the open Tagcash APIs. Apps and websites can also be created that run from connected nodes, again with no need to use the Tagcash APIs. We hope to see more development taking place, give more options to Filipinos to convert to digital cash usage.
We also needed the EMI License so we can move ahead with our Tokenized Equity Crowdfunding, and Peer to Peer Lending plans. Without the license it would be impossible to operate them properly, due to lack of banking by the majority of Filipinos.
It's taken a bit of time to get where we are today, but the future looks bright..;)
The letter from the BSP is here