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Union Bank of Philippines Launches Crypto Trading Services – Which Coins Are Included?

Source: AdobeStock / Yury

Digital asset management technology METACO announced that the Union Bank of the Philippines is now live on its flagship platform Harmonize, to launch a pilot program for crypto custody and trading services for select retail customers.

The pilot will include bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH).

According to a press release, UnionBank launching this pilot program is “a major step forward in the bank’s exploration of blockchain technology,” which follows its previous digital asset initiatives, including the launch of its stablecoin for remittance payments and entering the metaverse economy.

Henry Aguda, Chief Technology & Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at UnionBank, was quoted as saying that,

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

UnionBank utilizes the digital asset custody platform Harmonize as “the foundational orchestration platform” and “a fully managed service deployed in the cloud,” thus managing governance and operations for the pilot, the company said, while the bank is preparing for a “wider rollouts” of its digital asset services.

Seamus Donoghue, Chief Growth Officer at METACO, said that,

Harmonize “provides UnionBank with the optionality to securely explore a range of retail and institutional digital asset use-cases, from crypto custody, investment and trading, to the fast-growing Metaverse economy in the Philippines.”

In regards to its plans to expand the service, the press release noted that the bank is “working closely” with the financial regulators and industry participants. The goal is,

“For millions of Filipinos to custody and exchange digital currencies such as Bitcoin, straight from their existing mobile banking app, without the need to open or manage separate wallet services.”

UnionBank is one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines, and has been granted a crypto license under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The press release added that the new technologies are being used to expand financial inclusion in the country, saying that,

"The president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr, heralded the importance of blockchain and digital asset technologies at the recent opening of UnionBank’s Innovation Campus, outlining the power of the technology in furthering financial inclusion in the Philippines."

Founded in 2015 in Switzerland, METACO is a technology provider to financial institutions and corporations in the digital asset ecosystem, with bank implementations in various regulatory jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong, said the company.

Banks piloting into the digital economy

Banks are increasingly working with crypto industry companies and regulatory authorities on various pilots related to digital asset services.

On Thursday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the first live trades completed in the first industry pilot under the Project Guardian, which explores potential decentralized finance (DeFi) applications in wholesale funding markets.

It stated that, under the first industry pilot, DBS Bank, JP Morgan, and SBI Digital Asset Holdings conducted foreign exchange and government bond transactions against liquidity pools comprising tokenized Singapore Government Securities Bonds, Japanese Government Bonds, Japanese Yen (JPY), and Singapore Dollar (SGD).

The press release said that,

“A live cross-currency transaction involving tokenised JPY and SGD deposits was successfully conducted. In addition, a simulated exercise was performed involving the buying and selling of tokenised government bonds.”

Furthermore, additional pilots have been launched to test the application of asset tokenization and DeFi across a broader range of use cases in the financial sector, it added.


Learn more: 
- World’s Largest Custodian Bank BNY Mellon Launches Crypto Custody Service
- DBS Adopts DeFi Protocols for FX & Government Securities Transactions

- US Sullivan Bank Partners with Bakkt to Enable BTC
-  South Korea’s SK Securities to Team up with Regional Bank for Crypto Custody, NFT Move