With cryptocurrency gaining popularity in the Philippines, new reports reveal that UnionBank will be offering cryptocurrency trading soon. According to a report by Bloomberg, UnionBank Blockchain and Application Programming head Cathy Casas acknowledge the rising number of Filipino having cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as part of their personal assets. Currently at around 1 to 2% now, Casas expects this figure to grow to 3 to 5% in five years.
“It’s a way to future-proof our banking business,” Casas said in an interview.
For its plans, UnionBank will reportedly use a system developed by Metaco for managing its digital asset operations like cryptocurrency trading.
While the plan to have its own cryptocurrency exchange is a promising plan from UnionBank, not everyone is in favor of it. Chief among them is BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, who said that cryptocurrencies “pose a danger to the financial system,” as are vulnerable to illicit activities like money laundering and terrorist financing.
Part of this claim involved the massive hacking incident with BDO last December, where around 700 account holders lost their money from unauthorized transfers to multiple UnionBank accounts, where around Php 5 million of the siphoned money was used to purchase Bitcoin.
Factoring the dangers of cryptocurrencies, Casis said that they are making efforts in educating their clients via social media to ensure that their hard-earned money is safe.
UnionBank’s plan to have its own cryptocurrency trading system is not farfetched. Back in 2019, UnionBank launched its stablecoin PHX for rural banks in its network to have easier access to remittances and payments.