The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has acknowledged the presence and increasing popularity of virtual currencies (VCs) or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. In line with this, they’ve issued an advisory for those who wish to partake in the market or use VCs.
With the issuance of Circular No. 944 dated 6 February 2017, any VC exchanges or businesses engaged in VC trading are required to register with the BSP as remittance and transfer companies. Other than that, they are also requiring these exchanges to have security measures and safeguards to address the risks that come with VC trade. VCs, though, are still not endorsed by the BSP as legal tender, store of value or investment vehicles.
The BSP is advising everyone who are tempted to invest in VC to be wary of pyramid schemes disguised as initial coin offerings (ICO) or VC investments and to be cautious when dealing with transactions related to it. Apart from that, they are encouraging to only deal with BSP-registered VC exchanges to minimize risk.
Below is a list of security considerations from the BSP:
- Set-up and use a dedicated email account. Avoid using the same email accounts or username that you have used in public platforms such as social media.
- Keep your VC-related email account to yourself. In any VC transaction, users need their email account and password. Thus, it is important to secure not only your password but also your email account.
- Set a strong password. Use complex and hard-to-guess passwords (i.e. alphanumeric including symbols, lower and upper cases). Avoid re-using the same password for more than one service.
- Observe basic internet security. Exercise caution in accessing your VC wallet especially when using wi-fi connections. Avoid installing software, browser plugins or downloading attachments from unknown or suspicious websites and emails. At the same time, do not leave your device unattended.
- Subscribe to multi-factor authentication (MFA) provided by the VC wallet provider. VC users should enable, whenever available, MFA options to their VC accounts. Adding another layer of authentication can provide increased security to your VC account and transactions.
- Separate your funds and use cold storage. VC funds should be separated in two or more digital wallets for transactional purposes. The main wallet used to store VC funds for future use should be kept offline or popularly known as cold storage wallet to minimize vulnerability to theft, hacking or fraud.
You can check their full statement here.
source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
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