CEZA approves license of fintech firm

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The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) on Tuesday approved the application of Hong Kong-based Golden Millennial Quickpay Inc. Ltd. (GMQ) to operate a cryptocurrency exchange and financial technology solutions business inside the special economic zone.

CEZA Corporate Board Secretary Catherine Joy Alameda made the announcement on the sidelines of the 2018 GMQ Global Blockchain Summit Philippines held in Pasay City. GMQ is the first foreign digital exchange operator allowed to launch within the ecozone.

The approval comes after CEZA administrator Atty. Raul Lambino said last month on the sidelines of the Global Blockchain Summit he would limit the number of cryptocurrency exchanges inside the freeport to 25 after his office was swamped with applications from blockchain-focused companies.

“We will not be accommodating them all. From the more than 60 [digital currency exchange] applications that we received, we will only approve 25 operators,” he said.

Under its license, GMQ is required to invest $1 million to start operations and set up office at LR Data, a CEZA locator in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. The digital currency exchange joins two other cryptocurrency-focused firms in CEZA. Together they are expected to hire at least 5,000 workers for their operations.

CEZA Senior Deputy Administrator Raymundo T. Roquero commented on the GMQ license, “The license was issued last week. They were the first, [along with two other firms]. These are all Hong Kong-based, [while one] is from Bangkok, Thailand. These are offshore companies with a capital investment of $500,000. They have a committed investment to us of $1 million [each].”