Despite Warm Blockchain Technology Welcome, Philippines Still Apprehensive About Cryptocurrency

The Central Bank for the Philippines has been assertive about their approach in applying blockchain technology to their financial markets. Blockchain technology has easily been one of the most beneficial forms of technology to reach the public since the creation of the internet, after all.

However, despite their interest, cryptocurrency seems to continue to be something almost fearful for the country to take on.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo recently had a moment to speak at a London-based conference called the Philippine Economic Briefing. The PEB is actually more of a roadshow than anything, offering information to British investors about the going-ons of the business opportunities in the Philippines.

These details often include the energy, infrastructure, and tourism sectors, which helps with the economic partnership between the two locations. At this particular event, Guinigundo made the comment that the country is encouraging fintech firms in the area to get involved with blockchain and use cases. Guinigundo said,

“We are encouraging fintech firms to engage with the banks on the use of blockchain, so delivery of banking services is improved, and transaction costs are reduced. Blockchain is capable of making banking more efficient, and it allows the promise of financial inclusion more achievable. We can bank the unbanked.”

He elaborated on this sentiment, saying that they want to liberalize the system, providing an opportunity to bring in more players for a more competitive environment.

As far as the BSP, Guinigundo noted that their new financial inclusion initiative includes the use of both digital assets and blockchain technology. With the combined efforts, financial services become more efficient and available, as more banks move branches into areas that are the most remote. Basically, “this new technology allows less capitalization,” he noted.

Even though the government is fully prepared to welcome blockchain for adoption in the area, the central bank remains unconvinced that cryptocurrency will succeed. He said,

“You know, cryptocurrencies lack the requirement to replace fiat.”

However, that has not stopped the BSP from launching the National Retail Payment System, which helps locals perform transactions with e-payment. The system is also necessary to encouraging the fintech firms to partner with the effort, even if they already have a blockchain platform.

Ultimately, the NRPS should help to integrate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), which make up about 90% of the establishments within the country already.

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