February has come with much good news for the Philippines cryptocurrency community. First were the new crypto regulations through the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). The new rules dubbed as Digital Asset Token Offering (DATO) regulations are aimed at protecting investors and now a crypto ATM.
Reportedly, the UnionBank of the Philippines announced its intention to launch the first cryptocurrency ATM in the country, to allow crypto users’ easy access to digital assets.
In the announcement, UnionBank Chairman Justo A. Ortiz said that they will soon launch the ATM. The bank plans to have the ATM placed in its concept branch, “The ARK” in Makati City.
“We’re going to put up a Bitcoin ATM in our Ayala Ave. ARK [branch]. The machine is here already,” Mr. Ortiz said.
He added that once the ATM is set, crypto users will get an alternative channel to convert a peso into digital currency, and vice versa.
The bank explains that their move to launch the ATM is aimed at serving the evolving needs of its clients, especially those using digital currencies.
According to recent reports, 10 percent of the Filipino Adults hold an account with Coins.ph, the largest local cryptocurrency exchange. With the number of crypto user growing by the day, the bank wants to ensure customers get all financial services.
UnionBank has partnered with Coins.ph to help enable the system.
Further, Mr. Ortiz acknowledged the fact that digital currencies are not part of their day-to-day operations. He stated, “That should be interesting. It is not part of what you do daily, but it is cheap now. Maybe it’s time to put a few in your drawer.”
The crypto community will also be able to pay their utility bills using tokens. Two companies, Atom Solution, a Japanese fintech company and Bayad Center, a Philippine outsourced payment solution, recently formed a partnership that will allow Eternal Coin (XEC) users to pay bills using the token.
People in the Philippines are quickly adopting cryptocurrencies as they provide them with payment solutions. About 77% of Filipinos do not have bank accounts mainly because banks are inaccessible. Many do not have enough money to open an account while others lack documentation needed. The crypto ATM will no doubt help many people access financial services.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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