The Union Bank of Philippines, commonly known as UnionBank, is one of the universal banks in the Philippines and the ninth-largest bank in the country by assets. It is a joint of several companies among them the Aboitiz Group, Insular Life, and Social Security System.

Launching of Bitcoin and Ethereum

Licensed and supervised by the Philippines central bank, Union Bank has been actively exploring the crypto industry in recent years. The bank has debuted cryptocurrency trading through a partnership with a Swiss crypto firm Metaco.

In 2019, Union Bank launched a payment-focused stablecoin pegged to the Philippine peso. In January 2022, Union Bank partnered with Metaco for the development of crypto trading services. Union Bank has launched a program for Bitcoin and Ethereum custody and trading services for selected retail customers.

As announced by digital asset management technology Metaco, Union Bank is now live on its flagship platform Harmonize to launch a pilot program for crypto and trading services. The move is a major step forward in exploiting blockchain technology and entering the metaverse economy.

Union Bank utilizes Harmonize as a foundational orchestration platform and fully managed service deployed in the cloud, thus managing governance and operations for the pilot.

Henry Aguda, chief technology and operations officer and chief transformational officer of Union Bank, said: 

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.”

The news comes shortly after Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos highlighted the importance of adopting blockchain technology to master digital banking and transactions.

Previously, BSP warned the public against using non-local crypto trading platforms emphasizing that dealing with foreign virtual asset service providers poses challenges in enforcing consumer protection.

In his presidential speech, Marcos referred to Union Bank by stating:

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