Central bank digital currency (CBDC) fever appears to be heating up across the APAC region as The Philippines announces plans to study the possibility of issuing its own sovereign virtual “coin.”
Committee to Study Modalities for Possible CBDC Issuance
According to a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday (July 29, 2020), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor, Benjamin Diokno, revealed that the central bank has set up a committee for a potential CBDC project. The group will consider the possibility and policy implications of issuing its CBDC.
While speaking a virtual briefing the BSP Chief said that the government has a keen interest in blockchain technology. A statement from Diokno reads:
“Cryptocurrency for us has always been beyond the asset itself but more on the blockchain technology that underpins it”
Governor Diokno added that even though CBDCs were gaining momentum, it did not pose any threat to fiat. Furthermore, the findings by the group will inform the bank’s decision on whether to proceed with CBDC plans or abandon the project. The committee is expected to submit its report by August 2020.
A report by the Federal Reserve of Philadephia back in June noted that the emergence of CBDCs could replace traditional commercial banks.
APAC Countries Leading CBDC Race
The Philippines becomes the latest country to signal interest in CBDCs. Several other central banks of other countries have been researching and testing their various national digital currencies.
As reported by CryptoPotato this July, Thailand’s CBDC project is at the third stage of development. The country is trialing its CBDC with large businesses for financial transactions. Cambodia also announced that its CBDC called “Project Bakong” will launch in a few months’ time.
The Bank of Japan, on the other hand, has been conducting extensive research and recently formed a new group that will accelerate research of its proposed digital yen. Although, the country stated that there was no hurry to issue a CBDC. Korea’s central bank formed a legal advisory committee to look into any possible regulatory roadblocks before considering launching a CBDC.
APAC countries continue to be at the forefront of the CBDC race with China in the lead. The People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) CBDC project called digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) has undergone trials by different companies such as Starbucks, and McDonald’s.
In April 2020, the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) developed a mobile application to test China’s CBDC. In July, the Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan Dianping became the latest company to test the PBoC’s DECP project.