Union Bank of Philippines Launches Bitcoin & Ethereum Trading Services

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The Union Bank of the Philippines said on Nov. 2 that it had begun a trial program for custody and trading services for Bitcoin BTC $20,290 and Ether ETH $1,547 for a small group of retail customers.

Union Bank went online on Harmonize, a digital asset platform developed by Metaco, a Swiss crypto technology company, as part of the debut of the new investment and trading function. In January 2022, Union Bank and Metaco formed their first joint venture for the creation of cryptocurrency trading services.

Union Bank, authorized and governed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippine government’s central bank, has been investigating the cryptocurrency market recently. Moreover, a stablecoin geared toward payments and pegged to the Philippine peso was introduced by Union Bank way back in 2019.

For Union Bank to achieve its goal of offering “customer-centric” services in the Philippines, Metaco has been essential, according to Henry Aguda, chief technology officer and transformation officer. He added that Union Bank is one of the nation’s first regulated cryptocurrency adopters, saying:

“We are proud to continue Union Bank’s series of industry firsts, this time being the first regulated bank in the country allowing digital currency exchange features for clients.”

The President’s Accolades

The announcement follows Ferdinand Marcos, the president of the Philippines, who stressed the significance of embracing blockchain technology to master digital banking and digital commerce.

Marcos mentioned numerous Union Bank milestones in a formal presidential speech that was released in September 2022:

“The track record of Union Bank in creating opportunities through innovation and digital solutions in the banking sector is uncontested.”

Final Words

In the past, the BSP has also cautioned the public against using foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms, highlighting the difficulty in enforcing consumer protection when working with foreign virtual asset service providers. Will they be able to address the shortcomings pointed out with their recent initiatives?