How to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines?
Are you based in the Philippines and want to buy Bitcoin for the very first time? If so, there are a number of options at your disposal. However, before you can buy Bitcoin, you need to find the right broker for you and have a solid understanding of how the market works.
In this guide, we explore the easiest and safest way to buy Bitcoin in the Philippines. We also cover key metrics such as how to pick a broker or exchange, what risks you need to consider, and what steps you need to take to make a purchase today.
How to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines in 3 Quick Steps:
Step 1: Choose a Bitcoin Broker
When it comes to Bitcoin, it is important to note that there is a major difference between buying Bitcoin and Bitcoin trading. While the former refers to the act of purchasing Bitcoin and taking full ownership of it, the latter simply involves speculating its price movement. Those who trade Bitcoin do not own it and, as such, it is a cheaper and easier route to follow.
In the section below, we take a look at the top five Bitcoin providers in the Philippines. They allow Filipino traders to easily create an account and enjoy secure trading platforms.
1. Plus500 – Affordable Bitcoin CFDs
Plus500 is one of the best CFD trading platforms in the world. Because it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is regulated in different areas across the world, including the UK and Australia, it is very reliable and trustworthy.
Moreover, its easy-to-use trading platform makes it a hit with novices. Its platform offers free lifetime demo accounts and allows you to trade on the go using its Android, iOS and Windows apps. Apart from Bitcoin, Plus500 also allows you to trade other cryptocurrencies such as ETH, IOTA and NEO.
You can trade Bitcoin as well as a range of other cryptocurrencies as CFDs on Plus500. It charges no commission and has some of the tightest spreads in the industry, and also offers Bitcoin trading with 1:2 leverage. There’s also Bitcoin-Ethereum trading blend that provides exposure to both cryptocurrencies.
Plus500 trading accounts are secured using 2-step verification and offer both Google and Facebook authentication. With this platform, you also get real-time alerts via SMS, email, and push notifications. Additionally, Filipino crypto traders get sophisticated charting tools and a built-in economic calendar that lets them know about the latest news.
To trade on Plus500, you need a minimum investment of $100 (500 peso). With its 2000+ instruments, 35 language options and up to 1:300 leverage, this is a pretty good offer. Also, it doesn’t charge withdrawal fees. However, it charges $10 (500 peso) inactivity fee per month to traders that are inactive for 3 months.
- User-friendly platform
- Free demo account
- Provides a variety of commodities
- Charges inactivity fee
2. Capital.com – Offers $100 Minimum Deposit
Founded in 2016 and with over 300,000 clients, Capital.com is rapidly gaining momentum in the online CFD trading space. This broker operates in over 50 countries and is regulated by the FCA, CySEC and ESMA. Its easy-to-use interface is seamless and allows Filipino crypto traders to use your mobile devices to trade without breaking a sweat.
It provides 29 cryptocurrencies available as CFDs, including Bitcoin. This is another broker with very affordable pricing, thanks to its 0% commission and competitive spreads.
Like Plus500, Capital.com also offers a demo account. Additionally, it offers 3 types of accounts: Standard, Plus and Premier. While there are some core functions that all types of accounts offer, features increase as you move from Standard to Plus to Premier accounts. As such, the minimum deposit increases accordingly. While the Standard account has a minimum deposit of PHP 5000 ($100), the Premier account needs at least Php 500,000 ($10,000).
You get to choose between a variety of payment methods such as bank transfer, credit/debit cards, Webmoney and Giropay. To bolster security, Capital.com has a different bank account for its clients’ funds. The major advantage that Capital.com has over its competitors is that it uses artificial intelligence to provide valuable insights to its clients.
- Customer support reachable via phone and website
- User-friendly interface
- Provides user insights using AI
- Professional traders may need more charts and analysis
- Doesn’t offer the MT4 trading platform
3. Coins.ph: Philippines-Based Bitcoin Exchange
Unlik Plus500 and Capital.com, Coins.ph is a cryptocurrency exchange and not an online broker. This means that it only offers users the chance to buy and sell Bitcoin in addition to a few other cryptocurrencies.
Coins.ph is considered to be the largest online Bitcoin exchange in Southeast Asia and is licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It comes in the form of a well designed and user-friendly mobile app, which allows you to buy, sell and receive bitcoins with just a few taps. You can also safely store your coins in the Coins.ph wallet.
The major advantage of using Coins.ph in the Philippines is that it allows Filippino traders to convert Philippines peso directly into Bitcoin. This means you can buy Bitcoin without having to worry about the currency conversion fees that are charged by some overseas brokers and exchanges. It offers a Bitcoin price chart which you can use to keep track of price movements.
Coins.ph only requires you to provide a phone number or email address as proof of identity for monthly deposits below 50,000 peso, so it can provide a quicker and easier way to buy Bitcoin than some other paltforms.
You will be asked for more proof if you increase your deposits, but you can remain virtually anonymous if not Deposit fees depend on the payment service you use – you can choose from 7-Eleven, M Lhuillier, GCash and Cebuana with no cost. There’s also Unionbank, though this entails a small fee. Withdrawals are free if for banks in Metro Manila.
- Convert peso directly into Bitcoin
- Licensed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
- User-friendly platform
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.
- Far less trading options than at Bitcoin brokers
4. Coinbase – Best for Traditional Traders and Institutions
Like Coins.ph, Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange rather than an online broker. Filipino crypto traders can use the Coinbase platform to buy Bitcoin, store it and sell it. The easy-to-use trading app of Coinbase is available for both Apple and Android users.
This broker ensures that sensitive information from its clients is saved offline in USB and paperback in vaults all over the world, adding an extra layer of security. Also, it allows you to store your cash in a multi-sig vault that requires more than one key to unlock.
You will also be happy to know that Coinbase is regulated by the FCA and other regulatory authorities. The fact that it has been in this market for years and hasn’t faced any security issues is yet another reason why it is trusted by traditional traders.
Apart from Bitcoin, it allows you to trade in 16 more cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Litecoin. Another advantage of using Coinbase is that it is covered by FDIC insurance. This means that if there ever comes a time that Coinbase becomes insolvent, its customers’ cash will be safe. Coinbase offers its own proprietary crypto wallet in which you can safely store your coins.
Coinbase has also been known to keep track of what you do with the Bitcoin you buy. As such, it has been known to shut down customers’ accounts due to their use of Bitcoin in gambling, adult services and much more.
- Tried and tested platform
- Provides secure offline storage and 2-step verification
- Insurance protection
- Use of pseudonyms not allowed
- Occasional delay in payouts
Step 2: Learn How the Bitcoin Market Works in the Philippines
So now that you have a selection of Bitcoin brokers to choose from, we can discuss how the cryptocurrency market actually work in the Philippines. After all, unlike with forex trading, you are going to be entering a trading marketplace that is just a decade old when you buy Bitcoin, so it’s important that you have a firm grasp of the potential risks and rewards.
What is Bitcoin and How do you Buy it?
Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows you to send and receive funds virtually. This means that it does not exist in physical form. On the contrary, each and every transaction is facilitated by the ‘blockchain’.
The blockchain is what makes Bitcoin unique, insofar that it does not require a third-party intermediary to confirm transactions. This is why digital currencies are referred to as ‘decentralized’.
Bitcoin possesses a number of other characteristics that makes it different from that of a fiat currency like the Philippine peso. For example, the Bitcoin network is not backed by any central bank or government state. When you send Bitcoin to another user, the transaction is not tied to your name.
Instead, transactions are sent from digital wallet-to-wallet, meaning that they are linked to a unique wallet address. Bitcoin is also a borderless currency, as each transaction takes just 10 minutes, regardless of whether the sender and receiver are located.
Where to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines
In terms of how and where you can buy Bitcoin in the Philippines, there are a number of options. These include:
Regulated Bitcoin Brokers
Without a doubt, the easiest, safest, and most cost-effective way of buying Bitcoin in the Philippines is to use an online broker. Many regulated forex brokers allow users to also buy Bitcoin with a range of local payment methods, such as a debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet.
Although they’re not yet widely available, more and more Bitcoin ATMs are being launched in the Philippines. For those unaware, such machines work like a traditional ATM, but in reverse. That is to say, you will be inserting real-world Philippine pesos into the ATM, and in return you will receive Bitcoin. This is ideal for those of you that wish to use cold-hard cash to purchase Bitcoin, as opposed to opening an online brokerage account.
An additional way to buy Bitcoin in the Philippines is via a peer-to-peer exchange. As the name suggests, you will be buying Bitcoin on a peer-to-peer basis, meaning that you get to transact directly with the seller.
For example, let’s suppose that you wish to buy 10,000 PHP worth of Bitcoin through a local bank transfer. Sites like LocalBitcoins will then find you a suitable seller based on your requirements. The seller will then send the Bitcoin into the peer-to-peer escrow wallet while they await your payment. Once the funds arrive, the Bitcoin will be released from the escrow and transferred into your private wallet.
What can you Buy with Bitcoin in the Philippines?
Bitcoin was initially designed to be used as a medium of exchange. This means that it can be used to buy, sell, and trade products and services, much like you would with hard-earned pesos.
However, the technology is yet to achieve this goal – especially in the Philippines. That is to say, there are very few places in the country that you can actually use Bitcoin to purchase things.
Instead, most people in the Philippines buy Bitcoin as a speculative investment vehicle. In other words, those buying Bitcoin do so because they hope the value will go up in the future.
When is the Best Time to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines?
Bitcoin is one of the most speculative asset classes in the investment arena. Crucially, the value of Bitcoin can go up and down at a rapid pace. Sure, volatility levels are significantly lower than they once were, but double-digit movements in a single day are not overly uncommon.
As a result, ascertaining the right time to buy Bitcoin in the Philippines can be challenging. With that being said, there is a slight workaround to this in the form of ‘dollar-cost-averaging’.
- In a nutshell, dollar-cost-averaging will see you buy Bitcoin in smaller, but frequent amounts.
- For example, let’s suppose that you have 20,000 pesos that you wish to invest in Bitcoin.
- By investing the full amount right now, you are overexposed to a market downfall.
- Instead, a shrewd investor would look to buy Bitcoin in increments. They might do this by investing 1,000 pesos into Bitcoin every 1-2 weeks, subsequently doing so at varying market prices.
Over the course of time, such a strategy will allow you to average out the amount you paid for Bitcoin.
What Regulations are in Place for Buying Bitcoin in the Philippines?
The Philippines is largely a pro-cryptocurrency jurisdiction. That is to say, it is perfectly legal for residents to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin. Although the digital currency is not recognized as legal tender, this is somewhat irrelevant if you are planning to buy Bitcoin as an investment stream.
In other words, as the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin in the Philippines is minutes, using Bitcoin as a medium of exchange is not a viable option – at least in the here and now. Nevertheless, you still need to be careful when buying Bitcoin, which is why we strongly suggest that you stick with regulated brokers.
In fact, we would go one step further and suggest avoiding a cryptocurrency broker unless it is regulated by a tier-one licensing body. For those unaware, this includes reputable regulators like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Australia’s Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
In doing so, you will benefit from the following safeguards:
- All tier-one licensing bodies require Bitcoin brokers to keep client funds in segregated bank accounts. In Layman’s terms, this means that the broker will need to keep your balance separate from its own working capital.
- All respective brokers are also required to identify each and every investor that joins the site. This is done via a government-issued ID and proof of residency.
- Tier-one licensing bodies will audit registered brokers on a regular basis.
All in all, if you are based in the Philippines and looking to buy Bitcoin for the very first time, just make sure that you understand the regulatory standing of the broker in question.
What Risks are Involved with Buying Bitcoin in the Philippines?
If you’re looking to buy Bitcoin as an investment vehicle, then you are hoping that in the near future it will be worth more than what you paid. However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case.
On the contrary, there is always the risk that Bitcoin will fail to reach its true potential – at least in terms of value. Bitcoin is also a notoriously volatile instrument which has seen huge price drops in short periods of time. This is why you should never invest more than you can afford to lose.
Additionally, you then need to consider the potential of a legislative change in the Philippines. While we briefly noted earlier that the country is relatively “pro-Bitcoin”, a regime change could reverse this sentiment virtually overnight.
It is also important to consider the risks associated with keeping your Bitcoin safe. For example, a lot of investors in the Philippines will opt to store their coins in a private wallet.
This means that you are 100% responsible for its safekeeping. If the worst happened and your wallet was hacked, or you subsequently transfer the coins to an invalid/incorrect address, your Bitcoin would be lost forever.
Step 3: Learn How to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines
So now that you know what risks you need to consider when buying Bitcoin in the Philippines, we are now going to discuss the many different payment methods that you can use to make a purchase today.
- How to Buy Bitcoin with PayPal
On the one hand, buying Bitcoin with PayPal is more difficult than using a traditional debit or credit card as it’s less widely available. With that said, it is not impossible, as a number of regulated brokers now offer support.
- How to Buy Bitcoin with a Credit Card
While we would suggest treading on the side of caution when using a credit card to invest in Bitcoin, if this is something you want to do it is now possible. The go-to broker for credit card Bitcoin investments was originally Coinbase. However, the broker no longer accepts credit cards, so you will need to look elsewhere.
On the flip side, it is important to remember that your credit card issuer might charge you a fee if you use it to buy Bitcoin. This will be the case if the provider views the transaction as ‘cash advance’. If it does, expect to pay a fee of between 3-5%.
- How to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card
If you don’t have access to PayPal, and you want to avoid the potential fees associated with a credit card payment, it might be worth considering a debit card to buy Bitcoin.
This means that you can buy Bitcoin as soon as you have opened an account and uploaded your ID. When it comes to making a withdrawal, you will be able to send your balance to the debit card as soon as you have converted the Bitcoin back to PHP.
How to Buy Bitcoin without ID
As we have noted throughout our guide, the benefits of using a regulated broker are endless. Not only will you be protected by a tier-one licensing body, but you will have the remit to deposit and withdraw funds with real-world pesos. However, this does come with a minimum requirement – KYC (Know Your Customer).
In a nutshell, the KYC process is required to ensure the broker companies with anti-money laundering laws. At the forefront of this is a requirement for all users to upload a copy of their government-issued ID and proof of address. As such, you won’t be able to buy Bitcoin without ID.
There is, however, a slight workaround to this in the form of a peer-to-peer exchange. This is because sites like LocalBitcoin allow you to invest up to 1,000 EUR (about 56,000 PHP) without being asked to provide any ID. Alternatively, you might want to consider a Bitcoin ATM, however, these are few and far between in the Philippines.
Step 4: Open a Bitcoin Trade
Now you’ve reviewed the best Bitcoin brokers and have an understanding of the market, the next step is it sign up for a Philippines Bitcoin trading platform.
There are many options available and we recommend one of the brokers listed above.
Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin
- Bitcoin is an emerging technology that could play a major role in the future of money
- Bitcoin is arguably both a medium of exchange and a store of value
- You can buy Bitcoin in the Philippines with a debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet
- Lots of regulated Bitcoin brokers that accept traders from the Philippines
- Trading fees and commissions are now super-low
- Get started with a minimum investment of about $50 (2,500 PHP)
- Bitcoin is an extremely volatile asset class
- No guarantee that Bitcoin will ever surpass its former all-time highs
- Risk of hacking
In summary, buying Bitcoin in the Philippines has never been easier. Not only do you have access to cryptocurrency exchanges and peer-to-peer platforms, but there is also a number of Bitcoin ATMs active in the country.
With that being said, we would argue that the easiest, safest, and most convenient way of buying Bitcoin in the Philippines is to use a regulated broker like one of the options listed above.
Is Bitcoin legal in the Philippines?It certainly is. In fact, some would argue that the Philippines has shown it is happy to embrace the digital currency phenomenon. Crucially, it is perfectly legal to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the Philippines.
Who regulates Bitcoin exchanges in the Philippines?If the Bitcoin exchange in question is physically based in the country, then it will fall within the remit of the Philippines Central Bank. With that said, this offers little in the form of consumer protections. Instead, it might be worth considering an overseas exchange that is licensed by a tier-one regulator. This will include the likes of the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), and CySEC (Cyprus).
What payment methods can I use to buy Bitcoin in the Philippines?This depends on the type of platform you decide to use. For example, regulated online Bitcoin brokers that accept Filipinos will support local debit/credit cards and bank accounts. You can also use e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller. Alternatively, peer-to-peer sellers might accept mobile payments and even cash.
What fees will I pay when buying Bitcoin in the Philippines?Once again, this will ultimately depend on the type of platform that you are using. For example, some brokers allow you to buy Bitcoin without paying any fees or commissions. This is, however, on the proviso that you do not attempt to short-sell Bitcoin or apply leverage. If you do, the trade will fall within the remit of a CFD, which you will pay a fee on.
How do I sell Bitcoin in the Philippines?If you are using a regulated broker, you can exchange the Bitcoin back to PHP at the click of a button. Then, you can withdraw the funds back to the same method that you used to deposit (debit card, bank account, etc). If you are holding the coins in a private wallet, you will first need to deposit the coins in the cryptocurrency exchange that supports fiat currency. After verifying your identity and making the exchange back to PHP, you can then withdraw the funds to your bank account.