Bitcoin Adoption Growing In The Philippines As UnionBank To Launches The First Cryptocurrency ATM

Philipines’ largest bank, UnionBank, is set to launch its first two-way virtual currency ATM in the country that supports buying and selling of digital currencies. Virtual currency in Philipines is regulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas especially if it is for delivery of financial services such as remittances and payments. 

Crypto ATM

The launch of the cryptocurrency ATMs will be incompliance with the specifications of the BSP which is the regulatory sandbox of the Philippines government. UnionBank indicates that they have been working together with the BSP to provide people of the Philippines with cutting-edge innovations. 

In a statement, UnionBank said that the move is in line with the company's quest to deliver the best products to the evolving needs and preferences of their customers as well as the clients using cryptocurrency. UnionBank anticipates the ATM to provide their customers with optional channels of converting their Pesos into virtual units and crypto to Pesos. However, the bank did not give specifications of coins in the statement.

Justo Ortiz, the Chairman of UnionBank, said that they have had plans to launch a Bitcoin ATM in Ayala Avenue and they have already actualized those plans. The chairman indicated that the bank is also looking at establishing a partnership with which is a financial technology company to enhance the system.

Regulation of Crypto in the Philippines

The BSP indicated that the government has had plans of creating such a financial portal since 2017. However, BSP does not endorse virtual currencies and their responsibility is to just regulate the digital assets.

The governing body adopted a regulatory approach in 2014 and in 2017 they have issued a circular of guidelines for Virtual Currency  allows facilities to offer services as well engage in activities that can benefit them in exchange of virtual currency to fiat currency and vice versa

To operate crypto exchanges a certificate of registration is required for a facility to operate as a transfer and remittance company. Large transactions that exceed P500,000 in a single transaction should be done through check payment and direct credit deposit into the accounts. In addition, the facilities should maintain their internal control systems as well as adhere to the BSP control standards. 

In November last year the BSP provisionally licensed seven virtual currency exchanges and currently, they are reviewing more than 40 similar applications.