UnionBank of the Philippines, one of the country's largest banks by total assets, has selected Hex Trust, a Hong Kong-based digital assets custodian, to test a crypto custody service.
Hex Trust will begin by providing an internal service for the bank's employees in a pilot run. UnionBank said it is looking to tap into the digital assets market as institutional and customer interest grows.
The next stage will involve rolling out a custody service for the bank's customers, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk on Wednesday. The move will allow the bank to safeguard customers' digital assets on their behalf in a regulated environment, the bank said.
UnionBank, one of the island nation's top 10 banks by total assets, said it is fully compliant in its latest offering with the Philippines' central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
"We are excited to be the first Philippine bank to pilot a custody service for digital assets for our own employees, overseen by the BSP so that we can prepare the groundwork for a safe and protected system for customers' digital assets,” Henry Aguda, the bank's chief technology and operations officer, said.
Last year, Hex Trust teamed up with enterprise blockchain company R3 to offer banking clients another option for issuing security tokens using R3's Corda software development kit. It also said it is working with one of Asia's largest banks.
Hex Trust, which has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, said it is expanding to the European market this year.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.