CEZA aims to be silicon valley of Asia

    The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), an economic Freeport zone in the north of the Philippines, has been making good on a plan to transform itself into a Fintech hub, with demand for licenses outstripping potential supply by almost three times. CEZA was the Philippines’ online gambling hub before President Rodrigo Duterte shook up the industry by allowing land-based regulator, the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp, to offer online licenses. The result was an exodus of licensees from CEZA, with the number of companies regulated under master licensor, First Cagayan, plunging by more than half. The zone is now reinventing itself and is building an entire ecosystem that allows blockchain technology to thrive. It’s partnering not just with crypto exchange companies, but also with educators to train Filipinos to become blockchain software engineers; universities for research; budding entrepreneurs and the banking and finance sectors to facilitate transactions. The Philippines is one of...

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