Union Bank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines, has partnered with the country's central bank to launch a Bitcoin ATM that allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoin for cash.
Union Bank introduces first Bitcoin ATMs
According to a press release, Union Bank has launched its first bidirectional Bitcoin ATM in the Philippines.
The machine, which is located at Pasig City's bank headquarters, allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with the help of fiat.
Union Bank has said that this has become possible thanks to cooperation with the country's central bank, Bangko Sentral Philipinas. The official publication states:
In an effort by the bank to meet the changing needs and tastes of its customers, including customers using virtual currencies, the ATM provides these customers with an alternative channel to convert their pesos into virtual currency and vice versa.
On January 17, Twitter user Mike Abundo posted a picture of the machine saying "it's coming soon." He revealed that the device is located in the main office of the bank, which according to their official website is located in Pasig City.
Crypto-ATM discovered @UnionBankPHMain branch.
– Mike Abundo (@MikeAbundo) 18 January 2019
This is not Union Bank's first stake in Bitcoin. In May of last year Bitcoinist reported that the bank hosted Bitcoin miners at a local conference to "experiment and explore how it works".
Cryptocurrency regulations in the Philippines
The positions of Bitcoin's national regulators were traditionally rather favorable.
In 2017, the Central Bank of the Philippines, Bankgo Sentral, issued a circular recognizing that Bitcoin has "potential for revolution".
[…] Recognizes that virtual currency systems (VCs) have the potential to revolutionize the provision of financial services, in particular for payments and transfers, as they allow faster and cheaper money transfers both domestically and internationally, and further promote financial inclusion.
The Circular also requires that crypto currency exchanges be registered with the Central Bank as a transfer and transfer company. They must also take the necessary precautions to prevent risks associated with cryptocurrencies such as money laundering, terrorist financing, technology management, and so on.
In addition, the country allowed 10 cryptocurrency companies to operate within its economic zone, thereby benefiting from certain tax benefits.
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The Central Bank of the Philippines helps launch the Bitcoin ATM at Bitcoinist.com.
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