Philippines launches blockchain application to bring government bonds closer to people

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On July 19, the Philippine Bureau of the Treasury, together with UnionBank and the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange, launched a mobile application based on blockchain technology for the distribution of government issued treasury bonds.

According to local media Inquirer.Net, UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista said it was „the first retail Treasury bond issue in Asia to leverage blockchain technology.

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Bringing bond investment closer to those who do not have access to banks
It is estimated that almost 77% of adults in the Philippines do not yet have a bank account. The mobile application called Bonds.PH aims to provide easy investment options to the country’s unbanked population.

Commenting on the importance of the application, Philippines National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon, said: „The launch of Bonds.PH paves the way for all Filipinos, particularly the unbanked, to easily and affordably invest in the new BTr retail treasury bond, the RTB-24.

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The application will allow nationals to easily invest in retail treasury bonds for as little as PhP5,000 (about $100). Users of the application will be able to make instant payments using online payment services such as InstaPay, GCash and Paymaya. They can also pay through the Internet banking system or through cash pickup via their UnionBank accounts.

The Bureau of Treasury decided to enable the application with DLT technology to reduce time and costs during the manual verification and settlement process. By using Bitcoin Billionaire, the entity also wants to ensure a viable, secure and economically profitable bond distribution process.

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In July last year, UnionBank also launched a stabelcoin focused on payments and backed by the Philippine peso to encourage greater financial inclusion in the country. In April this year, the bank’s CEO projected that the coronavirus pandemic had increased demand for banks to go digital and that this marked the beginning of the end of cold, hard cash.