As Crypto Fever Continues, UnionBank Plans to Launch Crypto Trading and Custodial Services

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Despite its increasing volatility, interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow and more banking institutions are pivoting to keep up with consumer demands.

UnionBank of the Philippines is the latest local institution to show interest in the crypto craze as the bank is reportedly planning to launch cryptocurrency trading and custodial services, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Cathy Casas, UnionBank’s head of blockchain and application programming interface group, believes that in five years time, the average Filipino investor could hold three to five percent of their personal assets in digital assets like Bitcoin. This is provided that the markets are “stable” by that time. 

Photo by UNSPLASH.

The Philippines’ crypto market is unique with plenty of potential. Play-to-earn crypto tokens have a strong foothold in the country, with the Filipino audiences of Axie Infinity and Yield Guild Games earning international attention. And according to Casas, at least five percent of the population has at least dabbled in cryptocurrencies. UnionBank’s custodial services could also cover tokenized bonds.

“It’s a way to future-proof our banking business,” she said to Bloomberg. 

To handle its future crypto trading business, the bank will be using cryptocurrency safekeeping technology from IBM and Swiss company Metaco. It will also be making an effort to educate customers on cryptocurrencies before they engage in crypto trading. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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