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Chinese cryptocurrency firm eyes ‘digital peso’ launch

/ 05:22 AM November 30, 2018

A Chinese cryptocurrency giant plans to introduce a so-called “digital peso” next year to serve not only overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) but also Chinese nationals working here in the Philippines.

Visiting Huaren Capital president Jeff Wang told reporters through a translator Wednesday night that they were in talks with potential partner banks, which he declined to identify, as well as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for their digital peso project.

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Wang said the digital peso was aimed at reducing international remittance fees, hence would benefit OFWs.

“In China, they have electronic payments systems like Alipay and WeChat Pay, so transfer of funds is very easy. We understand in the Philippines, many Filipino citizens don’t have a bank account, and when they transfer funds from one country to another or from one place to another, there’s always a high remittance fee incurred, so we are working toward reducing that kind of cost for the average Filipino citizen,” Wang explained.

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Also, “regardless whether Filipinos or non-Filipinos, as long as you have needs to transmit funds abroad—you can be Filipinos, Chinese who work in the Philippines, you can also be overseas Filipinos, and these are all our potential customers,” he said.

Huaren Capital has started negotiations with some Philippine banks that can provide digital peso services, Wang said.

According to Wang, they expect to sign deals with local banks early next year as well as secure a license from the BSP to launch the digital peso in the first half of 2019.

Huaren Capital was also in discussions with the BSP for the international conversion rates, Wang added.

The pilot project will be located within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone being operated by the state-run Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza), according to Wang.

“I believe the technology is growing very fast, very rapidly in the Philippines. And e-commerce is growing and will be growing even faster with all these cryptocurrency technologies. We hope that this will bring the Philippines to the forefront of e-commerce around the world,” Wang said.

Wang said he was bullish about the Philippine market given that the country was among the fastest growing Asean economies, describing it as “a very open and dynamic economy.”

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“And after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two countries are building collaborations on many fronts and I think this is a good opportunity and a good moment for us to launch this in the Philippines,” he added. —BEN O. DE VERA

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TAGS: Chinese cryptocurrency, digital peso, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)
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