THE Iv FUTURE OF BITCOIN
Q: IF BITCOIN IS SUPPOSED TO BE INDEPENDENT OF BANKS, WHY IS THE CENTRAL BANK INVOLVED IN LICENSING BITCOIN EXCHANGES?
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recognizes the promise of cryptocurrency in changing the way we transact money, including payments and remittances. In an article on Philstar.com, BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said that “we see a rapid increase in the trajectory [in bitcoin]. It is coming from a small base but increasing, that is why we decided to require them to register.”
But Cuneta clarifies: “Bitcoin exchanges are regulated [by BSP] so we can legally buy and sell bitcoin and other digital currencies. [But BSP] cannot regulate the technology of cryptocurrency, including the blockchain and bitcoin mining, among others.”
Q: ARE WE SEEING A CASHLESS FUTURE WITH BITCOIN?
It is still a long way to go, says both Cuneta and Bediones, but it is definitely not impossible. “Magkakaroon [lang] ng adoption curve,” Cuneta says. “We’re looking at siguro mga five to 10 years pa. Mabagal sa umpisa and then may inflection point. Bigla na lang everybody’s using it.”
For Bediones, having a cashless society in the Philippines is still a bit far off, especially because most Pinoys are still wary of bitcoin as money you can’t see or feel. “We always want to literally see and hold one thing before we believe in it and that’s something that Bitcoin just doesn’t provide.”