Union Bank of Philippines is launching a two-way cryptocurrency ATM that complies with specifications of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. In the Philippines, the central bank regulates cryptocurrencies when they are used for financial services, especially, for payments and remittances.
Union Bank of the Philippines is one of the largest banks in the country with 300+ branches. The new ATM machines will be the country’s first crypto ATM that complies with the rules set by the central bank. The project is part of the regulatory sandbox of the Philippine government. The bank has been partnered with the BSP to provide Filipinos with innovative solutions.
Union Bank stated that “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.”
As per the Crypto Regulation released by BSP in the Philippines, the guidelines for virtual currency (VC) exchanges offer “services or engaging in activities that provide a facility for the conversion or exchange of fiat currency to VC or vice versa” in the country. Further, crypto exchanges must obtain a certificate of registration to operate as a remittance and transfer company. And, large value pay-outs of more than P500,000 or its equivalent foreign currency equivalent, in any single transaction with customers or counterparties, shall only be made via check payment or direct credit to deposit accounts.
After the warning advisory issued by the BSP in March 2014, a formal regulatory approach was adopted on 6 February 2017 through the issuance of Circular No. 944. Though BSP does not intend to endorse any cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, it aims to validate them “when used for delivery of financial services, particularly, for payments and remittances.”
As of November 2018, the central bank has issued provisional licenses to seven crypto exchanges and is evaluating over 40 applications currently.
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