Newspaper front pages for the 23rd of October 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The central bank recently completed its study on digital currencies as a potential future alternative to the current system of physical peso bills as a medium of transferring value, but the country’s chief monetary regulator said it is unlikely than one will be introduced in the near term.

In a press briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said planners who took a close look at the proposed central bank digital currency recommended continuing research, capacity-building, and the establishment of networks with central banks and institutions that are also conducting research on this scheme.

“The initiative is aimed at enabling the BSP to keep pace with, and to enhance its readiness to adjust and evolve amid rapid technological developments,” Diokno said, adding that its introduction will likely happen beyond his current term.

The study is exploratory in nature. It is in line with BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap which aims to convert at least 50 percent of retail payments into digital form and that at least 70 percent of adult Filipinos should have a bank account by 2023.

According to the study, continuing research could be done on the current payment system, including possible areas for improvement; privately- issued digital currencies in the Philippines, covering their business models and the formulation of regulations using industry sandboxes; and digital currency developments among central banks.

Capacity building, meanwhile, may be done through workshops or roundtable discussions conducted by other institutions and subject matter experts, or actual immersions in digital currency projects.

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