Unionbank, one of the Philippines’ largest banks, is said to be launching cryptocurrency trading. “It’s a way to future-proof our banking business,” said a Unionbank executive.
Philippines’ Unionbank to Offer Crypto Trading and Custodial Services
Bloomberg reports that the Union Bank of the Philippines, also called Unionbank, will offer crypto trading and custodial service.
Unionbank has over $15 billion of assets under management. It is the Philippines’ first bank to accept cryptocurrency.
Cathy Casas, head of the bank’s blockchain and application programming interface group, explained that the average Filipino investor currently holds about 1% to 2% of their personal assets in cryptocurrency, like bitcoin. She added that if the markets are “stable,” investors would hold between 3% and 5% in 5 years.
Unionbank executives estimate that around 5% have dabbled with cryptocurrency. She said that crypto investors include young people who earn tokens playing to-earn online games.
It’s a way to future-proof our banking business.
Metaco (a supplier of digital asset software and infrastructure) announced Thursday that Unionbank will be implementing their digital asset management services. Metaco also announced that Unionbank will be deploying its services via IBM Cloud.
In August 2017, the bank announced it would be piloting crypto custody services. It noted that cryptocurrency assets will continue to thrive. Casas noted that the bank’s custodial service for digital assets will include tokenized bonds.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank of Philippines has warned against crypto-investing. The central bank warned that cryptocurrencies could “pose a danger to the financial system” citing their vulnerability to illicit activities like money laundering and terrorist financing.
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Unionbank is one the approved cryptocurrency exchanges. To provide more access for rural banks within its network to payment and remittances, the bank has launched its own stablecoin, PHX in 2019.
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