UnionBank of the Philippines Picks IBM and Metaco for Crypto Custody

Leveraging IBM’s key management capabilities, Metaco’s Seamus Donoghue said there are a number of similar deals in the pipeline.

AccessTimeIconJan 20, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:10 p.m. UTC

Crypto-friendly UnionBank of the Philippines will be using cryptocurrency safekeeping technology from IBM and Swiss custody specialist Metaco, the companies said Thursday.

Metaco has been providing the back-end crypto custody capabilities in Switzerland for banks including BBVA and GazpromBank since as far back as 2018. Since many of the world’s banks are already clients of IBM, the partnership with Metaco, announced in March of last year, makes for an even more compelling package, said Seamus Donoghue, Metaco’s VP of business development.

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  • “Think of all the tier-one banks in the market, they’re probably all IBM clients, many of them strategic clients,” said Donoghue in an interview. “They can leverage the existing stack, existing run capabilities to manage Metaco vaults directly from existing infrastructure. And we have a number of other similar deals in the pipeline, leveraging our combined capabilities.”

    IBM has traditionally been a stalwart of enterprise blockchain: private ledgers running inside the firewalls of companies involved in supply chains and the like. But Big Blue has now begun applying its key management know-how to public crypto.

    This includes IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services built on IBM’s hardware security modules, according to a press release.

    UnionBank, which has over $15 billion in assets under management, has been a tireless explorer of cryptocurrency initiatives including doing blockchain payments with Visa, remittances in partnership with Ethereum developer ConsenSys and even launching a stablecoin.

    “We have the passion for meaningful and sustainable reinvention. We value our strategic partners, like Metaco, and collaborate with them in an alliance that is meaningful in pursuit of a common vision,” UnionBank Senior Executive Vice President Henry Aguda said in a statement.

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    Ian Allison

    Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.