The Philippines’ central bank to pilot wholesale CBDC project


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, announced Wednesday that it will launch a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot program to advance the country’s payment system.

Called Project CBDCPh, the program will include trials conducted by a limited number of financial institutions transacting large sums of payment 24 hours a day till the length of the project. Per the announcement, an intersectoral management team has been formed to lead the project.

The team will ensure the CBDCPh project covers “critical operational areas,” such as policy and regulatory considerations, technological infrastructure, governance and organizational requirements, legal matters, payment and settlement models, reconciliation procedures, and risk management.

The project was first revealed by BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno during the 14th Annual Group of 24/Alliance for Financial Inclusion Policymakers’ Roundtable discussion at the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.

“Learnings from the pilot will be critical in constructing the BSP’s medium- to long-term roadmap for more advanced wholesale CBDC projects that shall further strengthen the Philippine payment system,” Diokno said in a statement at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the country’s central bank does not plan to offer a retail CBDC soon. A presentation given during the meeting explained that there is “minimal perceived added value” for retail CBDCs concerning the country’s present usage of digital payment methods.

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