Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – the future of finance in the Philippines


CBDC – the Digital Future of the Filipino Financial System

The plan to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) at a wholesale level by 2026 by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) represents a step towards transforming the Filipino financial system. The BSP’s decision focuses on introducing a wholesale version of CBDC intermediated by banks, without the need for blockchain technology. The CBDC is intended to operate in the central bank’s payment and settlement system, bringing numerous benefits as well as challenges.

The Philippines and Cryptocurrencies – a Stringent Approach

The Philippines maintain a stringent approach to the cryptocurrency industry, aiming to protect the local market from the influence of foreign players. In December 2023, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a ban on the operations of Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency trading platforms in the country, due to the exchange’s unregistered activities in the Philippines. This decision showcases a determination to enforce regulations and safeguard the local market.

Experiments with Digital Tokens in Spain

In January 2024, the Bank of Spain partnered with the Cecabank-Abanca consortium to conduct experiments using digital tokens for wholesale operations settlements. This innovative initiative aims to enhance the efficiency and security of large-scale financial transactions. This step may serve as a precursor to further actions aimed at streamlining the financial sector in Spain.

CBDC in India – Exploring New Opportunities

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), by announcing plans to explore offline solutions for the adoption of the digital rupee in remote regions with limited internet access, demonstrates the institution’s commitment to developing modern solutions. The tests aim to assess the potential for cross-border transactions and integration with existing systems. The pilot program of the retail version of CBDC has achieved a significant transaction volume, indicating favorable conditions for project development in this area.

Financial Stability and Efficiency in Cross-Border Payments as Motivation for CBDC

The motivation behind initiatives related to Central Bank Digital Currency is the pursuit of greater financial stability and increased efficiency in cross-border payments. Particular emphasis is placed on enhancing financial inclusion in developing countries, which could contribute to a fairer and more efficient global financial system.