Project Agila to Finalise Philippines Wholesale CBDC Pilot in 2024

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippines Central Bank) is set to finalise its wholesale CBDC pilot, known as Project Agila, within the year. The project, which sees the collaboration of six local financial institutions, is exploring the potential of using CBDC for securities transactions, as indicated by Mamerto Tangonan, the Deputy Governor for Payments and Currency Management Sector.

This initiative marks a significant step towards integrating a wholesale CBDC into the Philippine financial landscape. The pilot aims to evaluate the technology’s capabilities and its implications for the securities market, potentially making it more accessible to a broader range of investors.

Project Agila, which was initially proposed in 2022 and later revived, focuses on testing payments among participating financial institutions. This comes after a shift in perspective from the Central Bank’s former Governor, Benjamin Diokno, who had previously prioritised enhancing existing digital payment systems over exploring CBDCs.

Deputy Governor Tangonan highlighted the project’s goal to lower barriers to entry in the securities market, enabling smaller investments at reduced costs. This vision aligns with the broader aim of democratising access to investment opportunities in the Philippines.

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