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How to Buy Bitcoin in the Philippines?

Based in the Philippines and wish to buy Bitcoin for the first time? Read our ultimate guide on how to buy Bitcoin in the Philippines.
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Author: Nica

Last Updated: June 24, 2020

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: Open a Trading Account

    Open a free Bitcoin trading account with our recommended broker, eToro.

    Step 2: Deposit Funds

    Deposit funds into your account by one of the provided payment methods.

    Step 3: Trade Bitcoin

    Select your Bitcoin trade, set the various parameters and place your order.

    75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Crypto assets are highly volatile unregulated investment products.

    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. eToro – Best Philippines Bitcoin Broker

    Launched in 2007, eToro is known as the best social and copy trading platform in the market. Filipino crypto traders here can seek trade advice and ideas from each other, and you can even copy the portfolios of top traders at the click of a button! This can be particularly helpful if you are a new trader and looking to familiarize yourself with trading techniques.

    When it comes to Bitcoin, eToro has an impressive offering. The platform allows you to buy Bitcoin in addition to a range of other cryptocurrencies, and there’s even the eToro cryptocurrency wallet in which you can securely store your coins.

    eToro also offers Bitcoin CFD (contracts for difference) trading, where you can don’t actually own any Bitcoin. This allows you to speculate on the price going down by going short, and also make larger trades using leverage.

    With 0% commission, eToro is one of the most competitive brokers around in terms of pricing, and the spreads for Bitcoin CFDs are very competitive. You can get started with a $200 deposit (10021 peso) and eToro supports bank cards, bank transfer and e-wallets like PayPal.

    eToro is regulated by several leading authorities, such as the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia) and CySEC (Cyprus), so it’s very safe and secure. There’s also the e-wallet iOS and Android app which is great for mobile trading.

    Our Rating

    • Copy and social trading
    • Buy Bitcoin or trade CFDs
    • Cryptocurrency wallet
    • FCA, ASIC, CySEC regulated
    • High spreads
    75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Crypto assets are highly volatile unregulated investment products.

    2. 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

    3. 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 and eToro, 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

    5. Coins.ph: Philippines-Based Bitcoin Exchange

    Unlike eToro, 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
    • Far less trading options than at Bitcoin brokers
    There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

    5. 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?

    Buy Bitcoin PhilippinesBitcoin 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. 

    Fees at brokers like eToro are almost non-existent when you buy Bitcoin without leverage, as the platform facilitates commission-free cryptocurrency trades. The top online brokers also hold a tier-one regulatory license, which ensures your funds are kept safe in segregated accounts and your account is protected by encryption technology. 

    Bitcoin ATMs

    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.  

    Peer-to-Peer Exchanges

    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?

    philippines central bankThe 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. At the forefront of this is eToro, who not only supports PayPal deposits and withdrawals but also Skrill and Neteller. 

    As long as you have the capacity to meet a $200 minimum deposit (about 10,000 PHP), you can use PayPal to buy Bitcoin on eToro without paying any fees. The deposit will be credited instantly, too, so the end-to-end purchasing process takes just minutes.

    • 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. 

    Once again, regulated broker eToro allows you to use a credit card without paying any fees, and your deposit will be credited instantly. This includes Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro – so all bases are covered. Many other brokers also accept credit card payments. 

    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. Crucially, not only do brokers like eToro allow you to use your debit card to deposit funds on a fee-free basis, but the funds will be credited instantly. 

    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

    So now that you know the ins and outs of how the Bitcoin investment scene works in the Philippines – as well as the many ways in which you can buy it, we are now going to give you a step-by-step walkthrough. This will outline the process of opening an account with popular broker eToro, which you can learn more about by reading our eToro Philippines review.

    Create and Verify your Account

    To get the ball rolling, visit the eToro website and click on the ‘OPEN ACCOUNT’ button. You will then be asked to fill in an account application form.

    This will require a range of personal information from you, such as your:

    • First and last name
    • Home address
    • Date of birth
    • Tax identification number of the Philippines
    • Email Address
    • Mobile number

    You will also need to set up a username and password – which you will need every time you log in to your eToro account. Once the broker has collected your personal information, it will then ask you to verify it with a couple of documents. 

    This includes your passport or driver’s license for identification purposes and a document that verifies your residency status. This can be a bank account statement or utility bill. Once the documents have been uploaded, you should have your eToro account verified in a matter of minutes. 

    Deposit Funds

    Once you have verified your account, you can then deposit some funds. As we noted earlier, eToro allows you to use a local debit/credit card, Paypal, Skrill, Neteller, or a bank account. Either way, all deposit methods require a minimum of $200 – or 10,000 PHP. 

    etoro deposit

    We should also note that your PHP deposit will be converted to US dollars at a rate of 0.5%. Other than a $5 withdrawal fee, you won’t need to pay anything else to buy Bitcoin (on the proviso you do not apply leverage or short-sell the digital currency).

    Buy Bitcoin

    To complete the investment process, enter ‘BITCOIN’ into the search box at the top of the page and click on the result that pops up. In doing, so, you will be shown an order box. 

    Buy Bitcoin on eToro in the Philippines

    Here’s what you need to do:

    • Buy Order: Make sure that the order box is set as a ‘buy order’. This simply means that you are buying Bitcoin because you think its price will increase. On the contrary, a ‘sell order’ would indicate that you think its price will go down.
    • Stake: Enter the amount of Bitcoin that you wish to buy in US dollars. If you want to check how much this translates to in actual units, click on the ‘UNITS’ button. 
    • Stop-Loss: It is worth considering a stop-loss order if you are planning to limit your potential losses. For example, if you want to limit your losses to 5%, you can have the trade automatically closed if and when this happens. 

    Finally, click on the ‘OPEN TRADE’ button to complete your investment. As long as you didn’t apply leverage, you have just purchased Bitcoin without paying any commission!

    Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin

    Pros:

    • 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)

    Cons:

    • Bitcoin is an extremely volatile asset class
    • No guarantee that Bitcoin will ever surpass its former all-time highs
    • Risk of hacking

    Conclusion

    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 eToro. In doing so, you will benefit from three tier-one regulators, subsequently ensuring that you can buy and sell digital currencies in a safe environment. 

    You can get started on eToro today within minutes. Simply click the link below, sign up, deposit into your account and you’re ready to buy Bitcoin!

    eToro: Buy Bitcoin with 0% Commission

    Our Rating

    • Buy Bitcoin with no commission
    • Buy and sell Bitcoin or trade CFDs
    • Social and copy trading tools
    • Strictly regulated
    75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Crypto assets are highly volatile unregulated investment products.

    FAQs

    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, brokers like eToro 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.

    All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
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    Nica is a BA Political Science degree holder who fell in love with writing after college. She specializes in financial technology and cryptocurrency. At her young age, she was already able to work with founders who graduated from Harvard, tech startups funded by Y-Combinator, CEOs of multi-million dollar blockchain companies, investment companies in London and many more.