Union Bank of the Philippines plans to offer trading and custodial services for cryptocurrencies to capitalize on the fast adoption of digital tokens in the Asian nation. The average Filipino investor will likely hold 3% to 5% of their personal assets in digital assets like Bitcoin in five years, assuming markets are “stable,” up from around 1% to 2% now, said Cathy Casas, head of the bank’s blockchain and application programming interface group.
“It’s a way to future-proof our banking business.”
Many crypto investors are young people, some of whom earn tokens from play-to-earn virtual games, Casas said. “It’s a way to future-proof our banking business,” she said in an interview. Casas estimated that about 5% of the local population has dabbled in cryptocurrencies. According to an estimate from Binance Holdings Ltd., operator of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, that’s in line with the global average. More and more Asian countries are now approaching the crypto market with an open mind.
Philippine central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno has cautioned against cryptocurrencies.
Philippines central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno has cautioned against cryptocurrencies, saying they could “pose a danger to the financial system” as they are “very vulnerable” to illicit activities like money laundering and terrorist financing. Regulators worldwide have noticed crypto’s rapidly growing appeal, and some are taking steps to limit marketing to consumers. Singapore this week told companies in the sector to stop most consumer-facing marketing, citing concerns that retail traders might get burned. “We are making efforts to educate our clients also via social media, making sure that they are safe,” Casas said.