The Union Bank of the Philippines, the Philippine’s seventh largest commercial bank has launched the country’s first crypto ATM. The two-way virtual currency ATM will allow customers to buy and sell virtual currencies for cash.
Manila-based UnionBank has over 300 branches across the country. They said: “In the bank’s continued quest to cater to the evolving needs and tastes of customers, including clients who use virtual currency, the ATM will provide these clients an alternative channel to convert their pesos to virtual currency and vice versa”.
They say that their continued collaboration with the Central Bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has allowed it to provide Filipinos with innovative solutions in line with all applicable regulations. The BSP has taken a positive attitude towards regulating the local cryptocurrency industry, and the Philippines was one of the first countries to regulate cryptocurrencies as a recognized asset class and as a remittance method.
Any crypto exchanges are required to register with the BSP as remittance and transfer companies. It is also mandatory that they ensure adequate safeguards are in place to reduce risk, particularly anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Consumer protection mechanisms and technology risk management systems must be in place.
One ATM For Now, But More Will Likely Follow
The bank has only launched one ATM but will evaluate the demand from users over the next few weeks, which may lead to more ATMs in the future. The demand for cryptocurrencies is certainly booming in the Philippines. Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital, a leading blockchain investment firm, said recently on Laura Shin’s Unconfirmed podcast, that one in ten adult users utilize Coins.ph, the most widely used cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines.
“A week or so ago, we announced that we sold Coins.ph in the Philippines and I think that is a great example of Bitcoin’s actual usage now and not 20 years from now. They have one out of ten adults in the Philippines as a customer”, he said. “That’s very real. I think it is important for the community to really know that there are applications that are working right now”.