This Bank is the First to Secure BSP Approval for Crypto Trading

According to the bank’s CEO, this milestone represents a significant leap forward as it continues to revolutionize the banking landscape. 

By definition, cryptocurrencies are decentralized digital assets which means that they are not affiliated with any regulating authorities such as banks. But with around 420 million crypto users worldwide, many local banks have joined in the fray—thus expressing their support for crypto assets.

And for the first time ever, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave its approval to a local bank for crypto trading. The privilege is given to Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), which means that it is the first universal bank in the country to be licensed as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). For context, VASPs are entities that facilitate the transfer and exchange of virtual assets that can be traded online. 

With this license, the Aboitiz-led bank will be able to roll out a new feature that allows its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin through its mobile app by the end of the year. They will reportedly do this by the last quarter of 2023. 

Taking a Significant Leap Forward

UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista said that this milestone represents a significant leap forward for the company as it continues to revolutionize the banking landscape. 

“By obtaining this license, we are not only paving the way for even more groundbreaking opportunities but also enhancing our digital capabilities and further transforming the way our customers interact with us,” he said. 

The license also allows the company to extend its virtual asset exchange services to a broader base of customers. By being able to upgrade their app to cater to this service, UnionBank can provide a convenient and secure platform for crypto trading. It will also allow users to manage traditional banking and digital assets within a single mobile platform. 

UnionBank on its Commitment to Innovation 

The company commits itself to continuously innovate to meet its clients’ needs. Through UB’s new services, clients will feel more empowered to navigate through new spaces confidently. 

“In this era where change is constant, our pursuit of this license isn’t just about staying current, but about being future-proof and future-ready. The financial landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and we want to be at the forefront, ensuring that we are equipped to meet the evolving needs of our clients,” said UnionBank Head of Emerging Technology Group Head Cathy Casas. 

UnionBank’s move is integral to its future-proofing strategies since it aims to adapt to trends and meet the evolving financial needs of its clients. With one bank getting the green light from the BSP, Filipinos might witness how more banks can move towards crypto adoption to make it more understandable and accessible for possible investors.