The Introduction of Blockchain-Free CBDC by the Central Bank of the Philippines

The Introduction of Blockchain-Free CBDC by the Central Bank of the Philippines

The Philippines to Introduce Non-Blockchain CBDC in Two Years

The Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Eli Remolona, has announced that the Philippines is moving forward with the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that will not use blockchain technology. This decision aligns with global trends where regulators are exploring digital tokens as a secure payment method and stable value holder.

Wholesale CBDC Model for Banks

Remolona revealed that the BSP will adopt a wholesale CBDC model, which will be exclusive to banks. This approach aims to enhance the efficiency and safety of domestic and international payment systems, providing banks with a reliable mechanism for real-time interbank settlements. The BSP’s choice to focus on wholesale CBDC is driven by its potential to offer risk-free banking options and support real-time payment systems.

Challenges with Retail CBDC

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Remolona acknowledged the challenges associated with retail CBDC, including the risks of disintermediation and the potential amplification of the central bank’s influence in financial markets. The BSP’s goal is to replicate successful models from other central banks that have ventured into similar projects.

Technological Backbone and Global Exploration

The technological backbone for the Philippine CBDC will be the Philippine Payment and Settlement System, managed by the BSP itself. This move is supported by findings from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), suggesting that wholesale CBDC could enhance security against fraud and cyberattacks through more reliable digital record-keeping.

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Globally, the exploration of CBDCs continues to gain momentum. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is actively working to broaden the scope of its digital rupee, aiming to cover regions with limited internet service through offline functionalities. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das emphasized the gradual introduction of these capabilities through pilot programs, ensuring broader financial inclusion.

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