“Most central banks say they will not issue [a] CBDC in the next five years, so not within my term”, the governor said
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which is the central bank of the Philippines, has revealed to CNN Philippines that it will not be issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) anytime soon, even though the country experienced a spike in activity in this new industry.
Benjamin Diokno, the BSP Governor, revealed this news during a press briefing on Thursday. He added that the bank would not be pursuing the research and development of a CBDC for the duration of his term, which ends in 2023.
The announcement happened after an exploratory study that the central bank made on the viability of a digital currency that is backed by the state in the Philippines. Diokno explained that a lot more work needs to be done before a digital Philippine peso can be issued.
In July of this year, the central bank created a committee to look into the feasibility and policy implications of issuing its own CBDC. The central bank’s interest in digital currencies has coincided at a time when digital payments are on the rise in the country, and the COVID – 19 health crisis has pushed people to turn to digital transactions.
Globe Telecom, a major wireless carrier behind the GCash application, has stated that the number of its registered users skyrocketed by 150 per cent in the month from mid – March. In May, the total amount of payments made on the platform soared eightfold from a year ago.
GCash is the country’s largest provider of mobile money services as well as the largest mobile wallet, with 20 million registered users.
Across Asia, central banks have been looking into the viability of pursuing digital currencies. The government of Japan had stated that the central bank has been experimenting with a CBDC, and that a digital yen would be a part of this year’s legislative agenda.
Thailand has also been busy on research for a CBDC, with the central bank working on a project to develop the prototype of the payment system for businesses with a CBDC. This project will be built on the Bank of Thailand’s existing blockchain initiative, Project Inthanon.
However, China has been taking the lead in the race to a CBDC, with the country having already launched the pilot of its national digital currency project, the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) earlier this year.