Philippines central bank says no imminent digital currency

The central bank of the Philippines has said it is not yet ready to embrace a central bank digital currency, suggesting the technology remains inferior to existing payment and monetary solutions.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said significantly more research was required before it would champion a digital peso. Following a research exercise into CBDCs conducted by the bank, central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said it was not in the bank’s immediate plans to launch a digital currency.

The central bank announced back in the summer that it was beginning “exploratory” work around a CBDC, in common with many central banks across the region and the wider world. The digital counterpart to the peso remains under consideration, but the bank has said there is still a long way to go before it could get behind developing and issuing a digital currency of its own.

The bank’s study looked into the fundamentals of CBDCs, including the impact on monetary policy, payment and settlement systems, regulatory considerations and other factors. The bank is now seeking further engagement from the private sector, in the hope of learning more about digital currencies and their business models to identify opportunities to improve current systems.

The CBDC research program in the Philippines stems from the central bank’s commitment to its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, which has set a target of switching 50% of all retail transactions to digital by 2023. The Roadmap also aims to increase bank account access to 70% of the population over the same timeframe.

The Philippines’ central bank said it may also require input from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to supplement its ongoing studies into CBDCs.

Indicating ongoing support for the principles of digital currency, the bank said its digital currency efforts would continue to evolve with new technologies and developments.

To learn more about central bank digital currencies and some of the design decisions that need to be considered when creating and launching it, read nChain’s CBDC playbook.

See also: CoinGeek Live 2020 panel on The Future of Banking, Financial Products & Blockchain.

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