Heralding a new era, a major commercial bank in the Philippines has launched the country’s first cryptocurrency ATM. The news was broken by the local publications according to which Union Bank of Philippines has just launched the very first cryptocurrency ATM in the country. According to the bank’s official press release, the cryptocurrency ATM has been launched with a purpose to help local people convert their cryptocurrency into fiat currency and vice versa. The ATM established by the bank is a two-way ATM which means customers can both sell and purchase cryptocurrencies at the ATM.
The UnionBank further added that the launch of the cryptocurrency ATM is a part of its continued quest to provide updated services to its customers whose needs and aspirations are continuously changing and evolving. The clients of the bank including the ones using the virtual currency have now got an alternative channel through which they can convert their fiat currency into cryptocurrency and vice versa.
Crypto Scenario in the Philippines
The central bank of the Philippines is one among the few central banks worldwide which has taken proactive steps to regulate cryptocurrency in the country. Since 2017, the efforts are on to develop a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrencies, and as a result, the Philippines has recognized crypto as a separate asset class and a medium of remittances. UnionBank has confirmed that it has been in touch with the central bank for past years and the central bank has approved the new cryptocurrency ATM.
Interestingly, it is a very first case of the commercial launch of cryptocurrency ATM wherein a commercial bank has worked with the central bank to come up with such a project. For now, there is only one cryptocurrency ATM, but depending on the demand and response of the customers, UnionBank may come up with more such ATMs in the future.
Wide adoption of Cryptocurrency in the Philippines
The adoption of cryptocurrency in the Philippines is quite remarkable with Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital stating that one in every ten adults in the Philippines is utilizing the services of Coins.ph – the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines. Coins.ph has more than 5 million users on its cryptocurrency platform as of early 2018 estimate. The users utilize the platform for paying utility bills, making credit card payments, trading digital currencies, sending money abroad, etc. Among others, one of the main reasons behind the higher adoption of cryptocurrency in the Philippines is the lack of access to banking option for the majority of the local population due to a variety of reasons including the lack of formal documentation, insufficient resources, etc.
The local users of cryptocurrency in the Philippines are highly optimistic about this new initiative by the UnionBank. The CEO of the UnionBank, Edwin Bautista is well-known for his positive predisposition towards the cryptocurrency, and the experts believe that this new step is going to further widen the adoption of crypto in the country.