The country’s “most crypto-friendly bank,” Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), announced recently that it will soon enter the metaverse by getting into The Sandbox, one of the world’s leading metaverse platforms.
This UnionBank venture is a nod to its “Tech-up Pilipinas” advocacy and it aims to promote innovation by engaging and empowering the Filipino Web 3.0 community and artists through activities in the metaverse.
“We joined The Sandbox because we want to be able to interact and engage with (the) growing Filipino community in the NFT and metaverse space. Metaverse services could range from crypto transactions, to the creation of NFTs, hosting of events, and connecting with new clients,” said Migui Planas, UnionBank NFT Lead at the Metaverse Center of Excellence.
Planas also emphasized that venturing into the metaverse “is also a new market we want to capture. The metaverse is already being used by generation Alpha, the next-gen of customers.”
The Sandbox is a community-driven virtual world where creators, artists, and players can monetize their digital assets and gaming experiences on the blockchain. Its metaverse platform provides a digital environment for creativity and innovation and allows its users to also purchase land and create their own games and events in the metaverse.
“The metaverse can also create many opportunities for Filipinos to connect with a global community. This is another way of ‘Tech-ing’ up Pilipinas,” Cathy Casas, UnionBank head of Blockchain and API Business Group and Metaverse Center of Excellence, stated.
Further, according to Unionbank, their venture into the metaverse will be able to create a digital space and lounge where users can interact and engage with each other.
UnionBank is known for its active participation in improving the digital space in the country.
In fact, in exclusive coverage of BitPinas, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) confirmed that it has granted the bank a limited virtual asset service provider (VASP) license while its application is still pending.
While in August, the bank announced that it will offer virtual asset exchange services through its mobile banking app as a part of its plan to future-proof the firm while creating “customer-centric solutions.” The availability of crypto in its platform also aims to prepare it for the innovations brought by web3 and the metaverse.
Last month, they also inaugurated the UnionBank Innovation Campus, a research and technology hub in the country primarily designed to be the home of various centers of innovation.
With this, UnionBank becomes the first bank and major brand in the Philippines to join The Sandbox platform.
Unionbank is known for being a crypto-friendly bank because it “remains the only bank with real links to crypto exchanges and open to retail accounts and traders,” according to UnionBank Executive Arvie de Vera.
But despite some reports that there were customers that encountered account suspensions or closure, de Vera assured in his phone interview with BitPinas that the bank will continue to serve the cryptocurrency community in the Philippines.