The Philippines Plans to Introduce Wholesale CBDC: A New Era of Digital Currency

The CBDC 'will definitely' be implemented during the governor's term, according to the official.

The Philippines might launch a non-blockchain Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) within the next two years.

🌐 Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Announces Wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency Plan

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, is set to embark on an exciting journey into the world of digital currency. In a recent interview with Inquirer.net, BSP Governor Eli Remolona revealed the central bank’s plan to introduce a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) within the next few years.

🏦 Wholesale CBDC Operates on a Central Bank-Owned Payment System

Unlike other central banks that have experimented with blockchain technology for their CBDCs, the BSP has decided to take a different path. Governor Remolona explained, “Other central banks have tried blockchain, but it didn’t go well.” Instead, the wholesale CBDC in the Philippines will operate on a payment and settlement system owned by the central bank. By using this system, the BSP aims to ensure the stability and security of the digital currency.

🤝 Wholesale CBDC Mediated by Banks

The BSP’s focus is primarily on developing a wholesale CBDC that will be mediated by banks. This means that banks will act as the intermediaries for transactions involving the digital currency. Governor Remolona stated, “The decision is to limit it to wholesale — banks will be the only counterparties and then, retail will ride on them.” By limiting access to intermediaries within the banking system, the BSP hopes to address potential issues associated with a retail CBDC, such as disintermediation, bank runs, and an excessively large central bank presence.

🌍 Drawing Inspiration from Sweden and China

Governor Remolona drew inspiration from countries like Sweden and China, which are making significant strides in developing their own CBDCs. These countries view CBDCs as a digital complement to traditional cash and “rival cryptocurrencies.” The BSP believes that by replicating their experiences, the Philippines can unlock the potential of CBDCs and drive financial innovation within the country.

📅 CBDC Implementation Within the Governor’s Term

Governor Remolona confidently stated that the wholesale CBDC “would definitely happen” within his term as governor. When pressed for a timeline, he estimated that the implementation could take place within the next two years. This ambitious goal demonstrates the BSP’s commitment to embracing digital technologies and driving economic growth.

🛡️ The Philippines Takes a Firm Stance on Crypto Market

The introduction of a CBDC aligns with the Philippines’ stance on the crypto industry. The local market has been protected from foreign players, with the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) taking a firm stance. In fact, the SEC reiterated its ban on Binance, one of the largest crypto trading platforms, due to the exchange’s unregistered activity in the country.

💥 Binance Continues Operations Amidst Controversy

Despite the SEC’s ban and several warnings, Binance has managed to maintain a significant presence in the Philippines. Users have praised its local services on social media, describing them as “reliable and stable.” Addressing this criticism, SEC Chair Kelvin Lee highlighted the compliance costs evaded by Binance and advised local investors to utilize one of the 17 registered virtual asset service providers.

Looking Ahead: An Exciting Future for CBDCs and Digital Assets

The BSP’s progressive approach to CBDCs signals a new era for the Philippines’ financial landscape. As the world increasingly adopts digital currencies, the wholesale CBDC can pave the way for greater financial inclusion and innovation within the country. This move sets a precedent for other nations to explore the potential of CBDCs and leverage digital assets as tools for economic growth.

📚 References: 1. Philippines to sell $179M in tokenized treasury bonds for the first time 2. Reiterated its ban on Binance 3. 4 clever crypto scams to beware — Dubai OTC trader Amin Rad


Q&A: Addressing Your Concerns about CBDCs and Digital Currency

🤔 Q1: What is the purpose of introducing a wholesale CBDC? Why not a retail CBDC?

📝 A1: The BSP has chosen to focus on a wholesale CBDC primarily to address potential challenges associated with a retail CBDC. By limiting the digital currency’s access to intermediaries within the banking system, such as commercial banks, the BSP aims to mitigate issues like disintermediation and bank runs during times of financial stress. Additionally, a wholesale CBDC allows for a controlled expansion of the central bank’s digital footprint, ensuring stability and secure payment transactions. This approach maximizes efficiency and minimizes potential risks for the overall financial system.

🤔 Q2: Why is the BSP not using blockchain technology for the CBDC project?

📝 A2: Governor Remolona cited the experiences of other central banks that have attempted to use blockchain technology for their CBDCs, stating that it “didn’t go well.” The BSP has opted for a payment and settlement system owned by the central bank, which provides greater control and enhances security. This decision allows the BSP to leverage its existing infrastructure and ensures smoother implementation and integration of the wholesale CBDC within the financial ecosystem.

🤔 Q3: What can the introduction of a wholesale CBDC mean for the Philippines’ economy?

📝 A3: The introduction of a wholesale CBDC signifies the Philippines’ commitment to harnessing digital technologies and driving financial innovation. It can pave the way for greater financial inclusion by improving access to digital financial services for various stakeholders, including businesses, financial institutions, and individuals. The wholesale CBDC can potentially streamline payment processes, reduce transaction costs, and drive economic growth. Furthermore, it sets the stage for the adoption of digital assets and positions the Philippines as a leader in this transformative field.


As the Philippines forges ahead with its plans to introduce a wholesale CBDC, the world eagerly awaits the outcomes of this exciting endeavor. The future of digital currency is unfolding before our eyes, and the Philippines is poised to be at the forefront of this historic shift. Let’s embrace this new era of financial innovation and stay tuned for the remarkable transformations that lie ahead.

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