August 5, 2019
The Union Bank of the Philippines, also referred to as UnionBank, the seventh-largest financial institution of this archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, has officially incorporated a cryptocurrency, a stablecoin, to be precise, into its operation, the value of which is pegged to the national currency, the Philippine Peso. The new digital currency is named PHX, and the bank claims to have already conducted several transactions on the proprietary blockchain platform using this stablecoin. Consequently, UnionBank became the first-ever financial banking establishment in this country to begin carrying out a thorough implementation of these innovative solutions in the real-world.
After the official announcement, Arvie de Vera, the Senior Vice President of UnionBank and the Head of the bank’s fintech department, revealed some specifics about their pioneer work in this area. According to him, the PHX stablecoin was developed to become a central element of the new blockchain platform called i2i that has been created for the purpose of connecting the bank headquarters with other banks located in other regions of the country. Understandably, the bank chose to refrain from specifying any technical details concerning the platform.
The Vice President characterized their cryptographic currency as a reliable store of value, an efficient medium of exchange, and a bearer of self-executing logic that is encoded into its core. The introduction of PHX will provide means for UnionBank to execute domestic and, potentially, international remittances automatically and with absolute transparency. He even boasted that the bank had already made a number of successful transactions on the i2i blockchain platform between the central facility and the rural banks, which included the acts of purchase, buy-backs, and a few internal transactions, all done using the stablecoin.
The mentioned rural banks include three mid-sized Filipino financials establishments, namely the Progressive Bank, which is located on the Visayas Islands, the Summit Rural Bank that operates on Luzon, the biggest the most densely populated island of the Republic, and the Cantilan Bank in Mindanao, also known as Southern Philippines, an island that has a population of over 20 million people.
De Vera assured that the continuous use of PHX as an instrument of monetary relationships will help eliminate the problems with governance and accommodation of disputes. He also placed a particular emphasis on the fact that the stablecoin is fully compliant with the financial regulations of the Republic of the Philippines and the auditing of all operations involving PHX can take place upon the request from the corresponding authorities.
At the current stage of development of this initiative, the PHX coin is available for purchase directly from the bank, using debit cards issued by UnionBank. The coin can be used to acquire certain banking services, perform money transfers between the clients of the bank, and buy goods and services from the affiliate partners. The unused PHXs, or the ones received from other customers, can be easily converted to Philippine Pesos that will be credited instantly to the designated bank account.
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