One of the biggest universal banks in the Philippines, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), is entering the cryptocurrency trading market through a collaboration with a Swiss crypto company.
Select retail customers can now use UnionBank’s custody and trading services for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as part of a trial programme, the business announced in a joint statement on November 2.
UnionBank will be active on Metaco’s Harmonize digital asset platform as part of the new investment and trading function, which is being developed in partnership with the Swiss crypto technology company Metaco. In order to create cryptocurrency trading services, UnionBank first teamed up with Metac in January 2022.
The central bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which oversees and authorises UnionBank, has recently been actively looking into the cryptocurrency sector. In 2019, UnionBank unveiled a stablecoin designed for payments and anchored to the Philippine peso. According to Henry Aguda, chief technology officer and chief transformation officer, Metaco has proven crucial in helping UnionBank reach its objective of providing “customer-centric” services in the Philippines. He continued by mentioning UnionBank as one of the country’s first accredited bitcoin users.
The declaration comes after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos emphasised the importance of using blockchain technology to manage digital banking and commerce. In a formal presidential speech that was published in September 2022, Marcos noted a number of related UnionBank accomplishments.
The BSP has already warned the general public against utilising foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms, pointing out how challenging it is to enforce consumer protection when dealing with foreign companies that offer virtual asset services. As of August, 19 VASPs were officially registered in the Philippines.