Philippines Rules Out Blockchain for Wholesale CBDC Seen Likely by 2026: Report

The country's central bank does not plan on issuing a retail version of the digital currency.

AccessTimeIconFeb 12, 2024 at 11:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 9:23 p.m. UTC
  • The Philippines is likely to issue a wholesale central bank digital currency within two years, the Inquirer reported.
  • The country does not plan on issuing a retail CBDC on concerns this is more likely to cause bank runs.

The Philippines is likely to issue a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) within two years, central bank Governor Eli Remolona Jr told journalists, but doesn't plan to use the blockchain or digital ledger technology that underpins many virtual assets.

“Other central banks have tried blockchain, but it didn’t go well,” Remolona said, the Inquirer reported Monday.

CBDCs are digital tokens issued by central banks. Retail CBDCs can be used by the general public whereas wholesale ones are exclusively for institutional use. The Philippines central bank started an exploratory study into CBDC's in 2020. The Bank for International Settlements, which coordinates between central banks worldwide, in November said the institutions aren't sufficiently prepared for the risks posed by CBDCs.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) acknowledges that a retail CBDC could exacerbate bank runs in times of financial stress while a wholesale version could improve the efficiency and safety of domestic and cross-border payments.

“The decision is to limit it to wholesale. No retail,” Remolona said.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.