Union Bank of Philippines Introduces BTC and ETH Trading

UTC by Sanaa Sharma · 3 min read
Union Bank of Philippines Introduces BTC and ETH Trading
Photo: Depositphotos

Henry Agua, who is the Chief Technical officer of the Union Bank, claims to be the first regulated bank in the country to inaugurate the trade of virtual tokens and assets.

There is never a dull day in the crypto industry. The Union Bank of the Philippines has collaborated with METACO, a Swiss cryptocurrency company, to introduce crypto trading services in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The Union Bank of the Philippines is one of the largest banks in the country.

METACO, which is a virtual asset management technology provider, revealed that the Union Bank has already gone live on the Harmonize platform to offer crypto trading utilities and services. While the plan materialized in January this year, it has finally been implemented among the people of the Philippines.

Henry Agua, who is the Chief Technical officer of the Union Bank, claims to be the first regulated bank in the country to inaugurate the trade of virtual tokens and assets.

It was only time that banks began offering their crypto services in a country with such a large majority of cryptocurrency users. According to a report rolled out in June 2022, more than four percent of the Filipino population possesses cryptocurrencies.

For quite some time now, UnionBank had been eyeing crypto opportunities while being authorized and regulated by the Philippines central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). In 2019, the bank also disclosed a payments-specific stablecoin pegged to the Philippine peso. This was introduced alongside the backing of BSP’s advocacy of virtual financial accommodation for the Filipino community.

According to Aguda, METACO has played a pivotal part in the bank’s aim to offer customer-friendly assistance in the country.

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos had also recently emphasized the necessity to conform to blockchain technology and relish the advantages of digital banking and digital transaction.

UnionBank, which is a financial institution established in 1981, recently entered the Metaverse space in April 2022. The bank plans to also become Phillipine’s first bank in Metaverse, in collaboration with Filipino Blockchain startup Ark of Dreams.

Ark of Dreams is a decentralized and immersive blockchain-based shared human experience NFT game linking the real world to the Metaverse via Mobile play to earn, NFTs, meta-commerce, and brand integration.

However, there have been instances when BSP has cautioned the people of the Philippines against utilizing non-local crypto trading platforms, underlining that negotiations with external digital asset service providers put up a challenge for regulatory bodies to implement consumer security and protection. The bank instead, suggests dealing with nineteen authorized VASPs on which to go about trading.

The list is exhaustive as the BSP memorandum paused the issuance and authorization of any new VASP licenses. The bank has provided other countries with a good example of both promoting and protecting customer security via the halt.

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Sanaa Sharma
Author Sanaa Sharma

Sanaa is a chemistry major and a Blockchain enthusiast. As a science student, her research skills enable her to understand the intricacies of Financial Markets. She believes that Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize every industry in the world.

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