Philippines bank launches crypto ATM

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According to reports, the Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the largest commercial banks in the Philippines, has launched the country’s first crypto ATM.

In an official statement the bank said that as part of its crypto sandbox, it was launching ATMs that allow customers to purchase and sell virtual currencies for cash via an ATM machine

UnionBank said the bank’s continued collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has allowed it to provide Filipinos with innovative solutions in line with all applicable regulations. The bank also 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.”

The Philippines was amongst the first countries to regulate cryptocurrencies as a recognized asset class and as a remittance method and since 2017, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has taken a proactive stance towards regulating the local cryptocurrency industry.

This is the first time that a central bank and a large commercial bank have partnered to oversee the launch of a two-way crypto ATM.

So far Union Bank has only produced one crypto ATM, and it will evaluate its usage in terms of customer demand and the machine’s technical performance over the coming weeks. The results may lead to further ATMs in the future.

Last week, Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital stated that one in ten adult customers use, the most widely used cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines.

Morehead said: “A week or so ago, we announced that we sold 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. That’s very real. I think it is important for the community to really know that there are applications that are working right now.”

UnionBank’s crypto ATM will help to increase the liquidity and improve the accessibility of digital assets in the region, especially if the bank decides to expand its operations throughout 2019 and it could help to make the country a leader in the crypto space.

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