The Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the largest commercial institutions in the country, has launched two-way cryptocurrency ATMs according to local publication Philstar.
This move comes as a result of an agreement between the bank and the country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The ATMs are only experimental for now, as they are part of the bank’s “sandbox” testing environment. The specific cryptocurrencies customers can buy and sell using the ATMs is unspecified.
“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 Union Bank statement obtained by Philstar said.
All currency trades made through these ATMs are legal according to the BSP central bank’s regulations. The Philippines was one of the first countries to take a proactive stance towards the regulation of cryptocurrencies.
In 2017, the Philippines became the first country to recognize cryptocurrencies as a valid asset class. Thanks to the new regulations, cryptocurrencies can be used as valid payment methods, a move many other countries are hesitant to make. Cryptocurrencies are also a valid remittance method, and therefore the approval of these ATMs by the central bank only adds to the spurring on of further adoption.
Only one ATM has been launched so far, but more are coming if the results of this experiment is favorable. Other cryptocurrency ventures in the country have resulted in favorable outcomes. Exchanges are thriving in the country. One in every ten adult citizens uses the Philippine’s largest exchange, Coins.ph. The five million Coins.ph customers use the service to pay bills, make payments, transfer money, buy mobile phone credit, and much more.
The high level of crypto asset adoption in the country is primarily due to a lack of viable banking options for the majority of the rural population. Because of the remoteness of many islands and villages, banking institutions have not been able to reach a big chunk of the population. Many convenience stores and apps allow you to trade cryptocurrencies, making it the preferred method of value transfer in many areas of the country.
Source: https://www.ccn.com/a-major-philippine-bank-just-launched-crypto-atms-and-it-may-fuel-massive-bitcoin-adoption, image from EthereumWorldNews