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Union Bank launches Bitcoin and Ethereum trading for retail customers in Philippines

The Union Bank of the Philippines is one of the biggest financial firms in Asia

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Nov 3, 2022 07:52:22 PM IST
Updated: Nov 4, 2022 01:23:58 AM IST

Union Bank launches Bitcoin and Ethereum trading for retail customers in PhilippinesImage: Shutterstock

The UnionBank of the Philippines has launched a pilot program to introduce crypto assets custody and trading services for its clients. Through collaboration with Metaco, a Swiss technology company, UnionBank will soon offer its retail clients services for trading Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), the latter of which is currently available to clients of OTC trading platforms.

UnionBank is one of Asia's leading financial services firms. It has been at the forefront of crypto adoption in the country, ranking among its top universal banks in terms of profitability and efficiency. Metaco is a Swiss technology company founded in 2015 to enable financial and non-financial institutions to securely manage their digital asset business.

UnionBank also recently announced plans to launch a crypto assets exchange. The bank's digital asset division will focus on the Philippine peso-bitcoin trading pair and tokenisation of Philippine assets.

On November 2, Metaco declared that UnionBank had gone live on its flagship platform, Harmonize. Harmonize is the digital asset platform developed by Metaco for Union Bank. Seamus Donoghue, Chief Growth Officer of Metaco, said that Metaco's Harmonize allows UnionBank to securely explore a range of digital asset use cases like crypto custody and investment and trading.

UnionBank also announced that it is partnering with crypto exchange Luno to offer crypto-to-fiat trading for its customers. The Philippine government plans to adopt blockchain technology to improve its digital banking and transaction systems. This was announced at a conference attended by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, who emphasised the importance of adopting such technology for the country's financial sector. 

Henry Aguda, The Chief Technology & Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at Union Bank lauded the partnership as "being the first regulated bank in the country to allow digital currency exchange feature for clients."

Through another announcement, Metaco President and CEO Roberto S. Ong said that the company's role in providing customer-centric services to the Philippine market is critical for the bank's goal to provide customer-centric services across the country.

In a speech published in September 2022, Ferdinand Marcos referred to several milestones achieved by UnionBank, including:" The track record of UnionBank in creating opportunities through innovation and digital solutions in the banking sector is uncontested."

Shashank is founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist.

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