Cryptocurrencies have experienced substantial market growth in the Philippines in recent years. Nowadays, it is not an unusual scenario in the Philippines for people to frequently use Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular cryptocurrencies to make merchant payments or pay bills.
As of April 2022, Filipino investors are holding up to 2% of their total investments in crypto savings, reported Bloomberg. This may easily reach 5% within 2027, as forecasted by industry experts.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, took a significant step in 2017 by legalizing and regulating crypto trading platforms to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions in the country.
BSP is acting as the regulatory body for crypto trading in the Philippines under circular no. 944, dated 6 February 2017. The circular requires all the local cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines to register with BSP as remittance and transfer service providers.
BSP has legalized 16 cryptocurrency exchanges to operate as crypto trading platforms in line with the local regulations. They also removed a few providers like Bitan Moneytech for non-compliance. Thus, if you live in the Philippines and are interested in trading cryptocurrencies, you will get a lot of favorable options and a welcoming legal environment.
This article has compared the best crypto platforms in the Philippines based on their features, level of security, fee structure, and pros and cons.
Table of Contents
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency system that does not have physical existence and is not controlled by any central authority like central banks. Unlike PHP, USD, or other fiat money, cryptocurrencies are not backed by any physical assets.
There are several ways to create cryptocurrencies. For example, Bitcoins are created through the mining process, where individual miners solve complex mathematical problems and receive awards for their efforts.
Cryptocurrencies are usually limited in supply, so their values tend to rise over time. The currencies or coins are released in the market through Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which is a similar process as Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Market values of the cryptocurrencies are usually determined by peoples’ overall perception of the currency. Also, the number of merchants or businesses willing to accept payments in cryptocurrencies plays a significant role in the crypto market.
The legal and market environment of the Philippines is generally welcoming toward cryptocurrencies. Government-approved cryptocurrency exchanges let you buy, sell, or hold crypto as savings. You can use it for merchant payment as well.
Now, let’s find out how to buy cryptocurrencies in the Philippines.
How To Buy Cryptocurrency in the Philippines: Step By Step?
You can easily visit any local crypto brokers or agents in the Philippines and buy cryptocurrencies with cash. Coins PH has over 30,000 agents, and BloomX has several physical stores that sell Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
PDAX, another popular crypto trading platform in the Philippines, caters to small investors through Paxful, a well-known P2P marketplace for crypto trading. You can also find thousands of individual sellers on Paxful to buy crypto.
However, most customers in the Philippines may choose one of the crypto exchanges to buy for better security, liquidity, and convenience. Ideally, you will follow the below steps to buy crypto from an exchange:
- Step 1: Compare and research the fee structure of several local and global crypto exchanges. Also, research the currency you want to buy. Check the market insights and latest news as those may play a significant role in determining the currency’s pricing trend.
- Step 2: Create an account with your chosen crypto platform.
- Step 3: Verify your ID and activate your account.
- Step 4: Deposit funds in your account.
- Step 5: Choose your desired cryptocurrency from the list of available currencies.
- Step 6: Enter the desired amount to buy. Many exchanges will let you enter a PHP amount.
- Step 7: Complete payment.
- Step 8: Once the purchased amount is added to your account, transfer it to the integrated or external wallet. You may also keep a backup on a hardware wallet.
Best Crypto Trading Platform Philippines: Compared
Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) was founded in 2017 as a cryptocurrency exchange by the Filipino company Fyntegrate Inc. It is one of 16 local cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines to receive regulatory approval from the BSP.
As a crypto exchange based in the Philippines, PDAX provides an excellent level of local support to Filipino customers that you won’t get in the global ones. For example, you can deposit funds in PHP, and you can always discuss any issues with the Filipino customer support representatives.
- Support for Major Coins: PDAX lets you trade various major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoins, Ethereums, XRP, and several others.
- Best Prices: PDAX dynamically updates the trading price on an ongoing basis so that you will always get a competitive price.
- User-Friendly: As a Filipino company, the developers and designers at PDAX are always keen to listen to the customer’s demands. They have developed the trading platform intuitively to make it beginner-friendly.
- Cross-Platform: You can either use PDAX from your desktop through their web interface or use it from your mobile. The mobile app is available in the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Huawei AppGallery.
- Trading Fee: Maker/Taker: 0.5%/0.4%
- Minimum Deposit: PHP 200
- Withdrawal Fee: 0.001 BTC
2. Coins PH
Betur Inc. of the Philippines founded Coins PH in 2014, and it is one of the approved cryptocurrency exchanges by the BSP. Gojek acquired Coins PH in 2019 for USD 79 million. Coins PH has served over 10 million customers to date and is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the Philippines.
One of the main reasons behind the popularity of Coins PH is its integrated crypto wallet facility. You can store your cryptocurrencies safely in the Coins PH wallet and use it for paying bills across the Philippines.
- Excellent Liquidity: Coins PH offers you significant liquidity for your crypto savings. You can withdraw and deposit funds from one of over 30,000 agents in the Philippines.
- Filipino Banking Channel: You can add funds to your wallet or withdraw funds from it using a Filipino banking channel without the need for any global payment methods or credit cards.
- International Transfer: You can receive money from abroad or send it using Coins PH and your integrated crypto wallet within the app. The verification is fairly easy and quick.
- Trading Fee: Network Fees Only
- Minimum Deposit: PHP 5
- Withdrawal Fee: PHP 200
Bloom Solutions from the Philippines founded BloomX in 2015 as a blockchain-based remittance service provider. Since then, BloomX has expanded its operation to become one of the leading crypto exchanges in the Philippines. It also received regulatory approval from the BSP.
BloomX supports over 250 cryptocurrencies, and you can buy them directly with PHP. Bloom X also expanded its portfolio into money transfer (BloomRemit), business payment gateway (BloomPay), and forex (BloomX Teller).
- Physical Store: BloomX operates physical shops in different locations of the Philippines where you can visit and buy cryptocurrencies. There are several physical stores in Pasay, Makati, and Manilla.
- Trading Tools: You can take three different trading strategies while buying cryptocurrencies through BloomX. These are Instant, Limit, and Cost-Average.
- Compatibility: BloomX is fully compatible with software-based and hardware-based wallets such as BRD, BitPay, Trezor, Ledger, and Exodus.
- Available at Paxful: BloomX is also available at Paxful, a popular P2P marketplace for customers who want to buy in smaller amounts.
- Trading Fee: 0.00001 – 0.0005 BTC
- Minimum Deposit: PHP 100,000
- Withdrawal Fee: Starts from PHP 40
Founded in midland China in 2013, Huobi is now one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges globally, with regional offices in the USA, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. In 2021, Huobi included support for PHP as a fiat currency and mode of payment.
Huobi has a 24-hour trading volume of over USD 4 billion, and you can trade over 500 digital assets on this platform, including over 100 coins.
- Safety Fund: Huobi maintains an international standard security and risk management system. They maintain a safety fund of 20,000 BTC to keep your investment insured in case of any accidents or cyber-attacks.
- Large User Base: Huobi has served over 10 million users globally and operates more than 200 regional service centers.
- Huobi Community: Huobi builds a strong community bonding among users through Huobi Learn, where they share trade-related resources and market insights to educate the users about investment and trading.
- Offline Storage: Huobi stores 98% of its cryptocurrencies in secure offline or cold storage.
- Trading Fee: 0.2%
- Minimum Deposit: USD 100
- Withdrawal Fee: 0.0004 BTC
Coinbase is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange and storage platforms, with over 98 million registered users. The US-based company was founded in 2012 in a distributed structure without a physical headquarter. All of the company employees work remotely and collaborate over a shared network.
With a minimum deposit requirement of only USD 2, it is effortless for any beginner to start their investment or trading portfolio at Coinbase. At the same time, since the exchange has an integrated software wallet, users won’t have to worry about connecting to any external wallets.
- Varieties of Coin Support: Coinbase lets you trade over 150 cryptocurrencies and coins, which gives you great freedom over your crypto holdings.
- Coinbase Earn: You can earn cryptocurrencies by participating in the Coinbase Earn program, where you can participate in community-driven programs, take quizzes, solve puzzles and earn money. Also, you can earn interest on your crypto funds.
- Insurance Protection: The crypto and USD cash balances on Coinbase are covered up to USD 250,000 by the FDIC insurance.
- Trading Fee: Starts from Maker/Taker: 0.60%/0.40%
- Minimum Deposit: USD 2
- Withdrawal Fee: 1% + Network Fees
eToro started its journey back in 2007 from Tel Aviv, Israel, as a multi-asset investment company. After a decade of successful operation, it expanded its domain into the crypto world in 2018 and became an industry leader within a short time.
eToro is unique in introducing a social-trading feature that lets over 25 million global users connect and share their trading strategies in a collaborative network. Also, it allows beginners to learn trading with a USD 100,000 virtual portfolio. click here to read the Etoro review.
- Real-time Insights: Traders will get real-time insights and well-researched news on the market. This helps them anticipate market dynamics early and adjust trading strategies accordingly.
- Trading Tools: You can set a number to stop loss and take profit parameters with your portfolio to act on your behalf at the right time.
- Copy Trading: Beginners can follow the same trading strategies as professional users using eToro’s proprietary CopyTraders feature.
- Trading Fee: 1% + Market price
- Minimum Deposit: USD 50
- Withdrawal Fee: USD 5 + Conversion Fees
Gemini was founded in 2014 in New York, USA, by the famous Winklevoss twins. The company is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Gemini also owns Nifty Gateway, a premier NFT marketplace letting you buy and trade digital assets.
The cryptocurrency exchange does not have a minimum deposit requirement so that beginners can explore the market potential and get their feet wet without a hefty investment. click here to read the Gemini review.
- Cryptocurrencies and Marketplace: Gemini supports over 95 cryptocurrencies, giving you excellent liquidity on your crypto balance. At the same time, you can buy NFTs with your balance from the integrated marketplace.
- Top-Level Security: Gemini is compliant with SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2. Also, if you like tighter security, you can always use WebAuthn to use your own hardware security key.
- Professional Tools: Gemini keeps its regular trading interface incredibly simple for beginners and regular users. However, what if you are a pro? Gemini has you covered with its ActiveTrader interface, custom-designed for professional users with plenty of advanced tools.
- Trading Fee: Maker/Taker: 0.4%/0.2%
- Minimum Deposit: Zero
- Withdrawal Fee: 0.001 BTC
Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, Binance is among the leading global cryptocurrency exchanges with over 90 million users and more than 600 listed cryptocurrencies. The trading fee of less than 0.1% is one of the lowest in the world.
The developer of Binance developed a software system to match high-speed traders. Binance is also very welcoming to beginners, and you can start your first trade within minutes of signing up. click here to read the Binance review.
- Binance Pay and Trust Wallet: Binance has integrated a payment gateway and crypto wallet within its platform. Thus, you won’t have to worry about going to any third-party services.
- NFT Marketplace: You can buy and sell your NFTs and digital arts in Binance’s NFT marketplace.
- Binance Earn: Binance lets you earn interest on your crypto savings as you do with regular bank accounts. There are multiple savings schemes, such as locked staking and fixed savings. Also, you can opt for flexible or fixed investments.
- Trading Fee: 0.1%
- Minimum Deposit: USD 10
- Withdrawal Fee: 0.0002 BTC
Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange established in 2011 by Jesse Powell. The exchange is an excellent choice for buying cryptocurrencies in the Philippines as it has accumulated a user base of over 8 million.
At present, Kraken supports over 65 cryptocurrencies, and it has a competitive fee structure. The exchange is welcoming toward entry-level investors with a minimum deposit requirement of only USD 10. click here to read the Kraken review.
- Support for All Users: Kraken is suitable for every user, from new entrants to expert traders. Once you register at their site, they will ask you the level of expertise you have. Then, you will get an appropriate trading interface and supporting resources.
- Intuitive Interface: Kraken’s user interface is highly intuitive and informative. Everything from deposit and withdrawal of funds is very straightforward. Also, newcomers will initially get to see only the major cryptos, including Bitcoins, so that they do not feel overwhelmed.
- Security: Kraken maintains a full reserve of the security deposits, and your funds will always remain fully secure. Also, the platform is in a good relationship with banks and regulatory authorities.
- Trading Fee: 0.9% Spot trading
- Minimum Deposit: USD 10
- Withdrawal Fee: 0.02%
Launched in 2013, Cex.io is a UK-based cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in London. The platform has served over 4 million users to date since its launching. Cex.io has an excellent security reputation as the marketplace has never been hacked by any cyber security attacks.
The marketplace is partially regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and they generally follow international standardized business practices.
- Crypto Staking: Cex.io lets you earn through deposits and savings in your crypto account. So far, over 25,000 clients have availed of this feature and earned USD 465,000 in interest. At present, the exchange has a savings deposit of more than USD 42 million.
- Regular Promos: Cex.io runs promos and advertising campaigns frequently. You can easily earn through referrals, participating in competitions, and giveaways.
- Strong Security: Cex.io has built comprehensive security over frequent cyber threats like DDoS attacks, ransomware, and malware.
- Trading Fee: 0.25%
- Minimum Deposit: USD 20
- Withdrawal Fee: From 3% + USD 1.2
1. How to Buy Cryptocurrency in the Philippines?
There are several ways you can buy cryptocurrency in the Philippines. One of the easiest ways is to use the Coins PH app, which works like a mobile wallet. You can visit one of their agents for cash in and then use the fund to buy popular cryptocurrencies from the app. Alternatively, several physical shops in the Philippines run by BloomX (Bloom Solutions) also allow you to visit and buy cryptocurrencies.
- What is the Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platform in the Philippines?
Cryptocurrencies are prevalent in the Philippines. Many prominent local crypto trading platforms operate in the Philippines, including several international ones. Coins PH, PDAX, and Binance have a large user base in the Philippines as they receive PHP deposits.
3. How many legal cryptocurrency exchanges are in the Philippines?
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is the central bank of the Philippines, which is also the country’s regulatory body for cryptocurrency exchanges. BSP has approved 16 local cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the Philippines. They all have physical offices in the country and comply with local rules and regulations.
4. What is the best crypto app in the Philippines?
Coins PH is one of the best crypto apps you can use in the Philippines. They have over 30,000 agents countrywide who help you load funds into your account. Moreover, you can pay thousands of merchants using your Coins PH mobile wallet. The verification process is very minimal for low-volume traders.
5. Can I buy crypto in the Philippines with cash?
You can visit one of the physical stores run by BloomX (Bloom Solutions) in the Philippines and buy crypto with cash (PHP). You will need to bring your proof of ID. In addition, you can send crypto to people living in the Philippines and abroad from these agents.