Philippines still a 'cash-based' society: Espenilla

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2018 09:00 PM

MANILA – Cash is still king in the Philippines and digitizing the currency is not yet the “first order of concern” for the government, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla said on Thursday.

Philippine society is still a cash-based society, Espenilla said in a forum at the 51st Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors' meeting in Manila.

Although there are interesting propositions like blockchain and cryptocurrencies, fundamental issues such as high-speed connectivity and data costs are the "reality" in the Philippines, Espenilla said.

"What we're trying to do at this point in time is to move people to more accessible digital solutions," he said.

He said the BSP as a regulator is focused on enabling an environment where there is interoperability and competition in terms of innovations.

"As the population becomes more familiar with this world, then we can look into possibility of digital currency," Espenilla said.

The BSP has released guidelines on cryptocurrencies as the use of Bitcoin gains ground in the Philippines.