Cryptocoins News reports that a member of the Filipino House of Representatives, Kimi Cojuangco, has proposed a draft bill for an e-Peso, a purely digital form of the country’s currency.
The concept is reminiscent of MintChip, a project undertaken by the Royal Canadian Mint to digitize the Canadian dollar into a cryptographic, p2p currency. It would have the advantages of behaving as personal, digital cash, without the need for intermediaries such as banks and credit card companies. Yet, it is 100% legal tender. The project was slated for divestiture earlier this year, its fate uncertain.
On the existing financial system, Cojuangco commented:
“What exists is a patchwork of methods using traditional credit systems, which act in place of money on the Internet. The E-peso is the electronic equivalent to the paper peso.”
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According to the proposal, the country’s central bank would research Bitcoin technology. It would then “choose a system that uses peer to peer processing of the log chain and shall exert its utmost to leverage existing hardware being used by the other leading cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.”
An amount of the currency equal to one percent of the total pesos in circulation would be released within one year. No more than 1 million peso ($22,200) worth of the digital money would be in circulation during the first two years.
It is safe to argue that the successful fruition of such a plan is fraught with multiple logistical challenges, as experienced during Canada’s trial.
One can also debate if the advent of such a digital currency will have a meaningful impact in a country where the value of Bitcoin’s transferability is felt tangibly. Bitcoin is reportedly making the country’s high volume remittance market more cost-effective. An e-Peso, while convenient, may not be capable of getting around the complications of foreign currency exchange.