Buying Cryptocurrencies in PDAX using GCash

As we see mainstream adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender (like in El Salvador) more and more, it becomes more important to have at least a small investment in cryptocurrencies. Here in the Philippines, we have a laissez-faire policy with cryptocurrencies. Our BSP is more often than not stricter with money laundering rules with this but otherwise tends to treat it as a security.

I’ve talked about how to buy cryptocurrencies before, in and in Binance, but here is another channel we can tap on — Philippine Digital Asset Exchange or PDAX.

In the Philippines, PDAX as an exchange has more supported coins now than in and is quietly surpassing it in terms of adoption. The additional coins recently supported are LINK, BAT, AAVE, UNI, GRT, COMP, and ENJ. If you want to learn about these coins, you can use Coinmarketcap to read about them.

PDAX as an exchange has had its growing pains earlier this year when a trading glitch caused it to lock all of the users’ funds. However, it has since owned up to it and has promised more transparency and capability moving forward.

What are some advantages of PDAX over

PDAX is an exchange, unlike that has both an exchange and a wallet with its ecosystem. With it being an exchange, users can focus on trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.

Also, PDAX has more flexibility as an exchange, since it also has stable coins like Tether and USDC. These stable coins enable you more flexibility as you can convert easily from any cryptocurrency to this, and also allows you to leverage De-Fi (decentralized finance) as a lot of products (especially decentralized exchanges) use stablecoins in their liquidity pools.

How to buy cryptocurrencies using GCash

PDAX has a lot of cash-in options available, but it has partnered with Paymongo for GCash acceptance.

Here are the steps in the PDAX app:

  1. From the main page of the app, click on the Wallet button below.
  2. From the Wallet page, select the “Cash In” button beside the PHP asset box, you will go to the Cash In page.
  3. From the Cash In page, click on the E-Wallet tab and select GCash Wallet.
  4. In the GCash Cash In page, input the amount and click next. Take note that there is a convenience fee and this fee is included on top of what you need to pay.
  5. Confirm the Cash In to initiate the GCash online payment.
  6. You will need to authenticate yourself using your GCash credentials as well as to input the one-time-password. After authentication, you can confirm the payment on the GCash side.
  7. After payment, your new balance will reflect on the Portfolio page.

How much is the convenience fee?

The fee is 3% of the total amount and is added on top of the actual cash-in amount.

Does PDAX also support GCash cash-out?

Currently no.

What’s the cheapest way to buy in PDAX and get the money instantly?

The no-fee ones usually mean that the cash-in is not going to happen on the same day. But if you want real-time transfer and you also have a GrabPay account, you can go through that channel as it has the lowest fixed fee of Php 25.

You just need to transfer from your GCash wallet to your GrabPay first via Bank Transfer. Take note though that since bank transfers use Instapay, there’s a fee of Php 15 when you use GCash. If you add the PDAX cash-in fee of Php 25, then the total fee should be Php40.

I recommend you choose this route if this fee is cheaper than the 3% you would have spent cashing in using direct GCash (i.e., Php 40 / 0.03 = Php 1,333). In short, you should go with GrabPay if you are planning to cash in more than Php 1333 pesos.

Do I need to go through validation from PDAX?

No, you won’t need to validate, other than increasing your limits


We talked about how we can cash-in in PDAX via GCash. Cash-in is in the form of Paymongo payments. PDAX as an exchange has more cryptocurrencies than any other in the Philippines.

If you do plan to cash in, always take note of the fees.

If you are also interested in other cryptocurrency or investment-related posts, here are some:

If you’d like to learn more about GCash, I created a how-to on the basics of GCash.

Here is a list of links if you’re interested in the main GCash features:

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