The 2019 Genome Report has projected that the transaction value of financial technology (fintech) market in the Philippines is set to reach USD10.5 billion by 2022 (p.120, Ecosystem Deep Dives by Lifecycle). In several news articles, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (CIG) Rafaelita Aldaba has cited how opportunities for fintech is growing steadily in the country, especially with the Philippine government’s inclusive, innovation-led, industrial strategy or i3s.

The World Bank, on the other hand, sees blockchain as a “pillar of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, comparing it to technologies such as the steam engine and the internet that triggered previous industrial revolutions” (The World Bank. 2019 January 24. Blockchain: How the Fourth Industrial Revolution can help accelerate progress towards development. The impact of the adoption of the new technology will not only be felt in emerging market economies but is also considered a crucial instrument / tool in reengineering existing government institutions and processes, ultimately changing the way citizens, companies and governments interact.


With the passage of Republic Act No. 11453, otherwise known as an “Act Further Strengthening the Powers and Functions of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB)”, the AFAB now intends to endeavor into research and development, engineering, medical, education, information and communications technology including emerging and future technologies such as artificial intelligence technology, blockchain, business process outsourcing, cloud computing, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technology, financial technology solutions, internet of things, and virtual reality, retirement, and healthcare services, agro-industrial, tourism, banking, financial, multinational trading and investment center.

Particularly with respect to blockchain, distributed ledger technology and financial technology solutions, the Offshore Blockchain and Financial Technology Solutions (OBFTS) Policy has been formulated by the AFAB. This policy provides the lawful basis for the regulation and control of OBFTS initiatives to ensure the fair, honest and responsible conduct of these business activities.


The scope of operations for blockchain business activities include digital asset related exchange, tokenization and crowd funding platform; companies engaging token offerings, including but not limited to, Security Token Offering (STO), Token Generation Event (TGE), Initial Coin Offering (ICO); payment providers using blockchain technology to store data or generate funds; blockchain developer service and / or software platform provider that is blockchain based; utilization of a digital wallet that stores virtual currencies either through a website or a mobile application; tokens or digital securities within the business model; Distributed Ledger Technology; and, any blockchain-enabled financial technology solution.

The financial technology solutions, on the other hand, cover any foreign exchange trading company; online trading companies for securities, commodities; online or mobile payment solutions and wallets; loan or mortgage disbursing or processing company; financial consultancy or financial advisory companies; insurance or insurance processing company; company or service that seeks to serve disadvantaged or low-income individuals who do not have access to traditional banks or mainstream financial services companies; and, company or individual brokering or hedging on digital asset exchanges or other exchanges.

Further, AFAB has granted iWave Advanced Research Group Inc. (doing business as GlobalTradeX), a mandate to build a financial and digital asset exchange ecosystem intended to accelerate the migration of digital asset value and contribute to the development of the AFAB and its operators.

In line with this, iWave shall setup, supervise, approve, operate, and fundraise for foreign businesses that will list in the iWave accredited digital asset exchange (

Approved operators and issuers shall also have access to credit through iWave’s decentralized and centralized financial technology platform (


Given the above, the AFAB accredited Grand Innovasia Concept Corporation (GICC) as its Business Developer and Auditor, who has partnered with Impero Consortium Management Corp. as its Blockchain and FinTech Technology Provider, and collectively known as “The OBFTS Group”.  They shall evaluate, process, verify, and endorse all applications of Local Service Providers and Offshore Licensees to engage and operate OBFTS business activities within the FAB. The OBFTS Group shall also be responsible in ensuring the faithful compliance and monitoring of all transactions undertaken by the Local Service Providers and Offshore Licensees.

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