Filipino lawmaker and representative of the 5th District of Pangasinan Kimi S. Cojuangco, pushes the proposed "E-Peso Act 2014" to be immediately enacted, as the Philippines is lacking an "official medium of exchange or money for the internet," reported The Philippine Star.
The representative explained:
"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."
Under the bill, E-Peso would become a legal tender and a legal payment method within the Philippines, and would be available in all local banks branches.
Regarding distribution, Cojuangco said the amount of E-Pesos in circulation would not exceed 1 billion units in the first two years. Further, the bill stated that the equivalent of 1% of the total amount of Philippines' pesos in circulation would be minted by the Philippines' Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), during the first year following the E-Peso bill enactment.
The bill would also commission the Central Bank to conduct researches and studies on technologies related to "Bitcoin and post Bitcoin cryptocurrencies" in order to gain proper knowledge and expertise, and help determine which technology would fit best to E-Peso.
The bill reads:
"The BSP will also 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."
The bill also stated the BSP would be in charge of mandating all bank branches operating in the Philippines to have one dedicated computer to serve as a local peer in the network.
While Filipino lawmakers are focusing on creating a national digital currency, Bitcoin startups and enthusiasts are striving to bring the cryptocurrency to the masses. In June, the Philippines welcomed its first Bitcoin ATM, an Skyhook device bought by local Bitcoin ventures company Satoshi Citadel Industries, and Filipino Bitcoin payments solutions provider Bitmarket.ph.
With the majority of Filipinos not owning any credit cards, many believe that Bitcoin could be the solution to the country's huge population of the unbanked.