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UnionBank of the Philippines join R3’s Digital Currency Sandbox

By Leandra Monteiro

February 14, 2022

  • CBDC
  • central bank digital currency
  • Commercial Bank
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UnionBank UnionBank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is continuing its drive to advance innovation in digital assets, having now become the first commercial bank in the Philippines to be part of the global R3 Sandbox for Digital Currencies.

The sandbox brings together commercial banks, central banks, payment providers and exchanges to collaborate with one another in a ‘ready-made payments ecosystem’ to evaluate Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) use cases, learn, transact, and test roll-out strategies and designs. Following UnionBank’s launch of PHX, its stablecoin, in 2019, the bank is keen to see how participation in the sandbox aligns with the bank’s vision, and how it will result in the creation of a new infrastructure for digital currencies.

“UnionBank will leverage R3’s Digital Currency Sandbox to explore, manage and deploy digital currency pilots and applications,” said Catherine Anne P. Bautista-Casas, First Vice President and Head of the Blockchain Centre of Excellence, Digital Assets and API Marketplace Group at Union Bank of the Philippines. “Being true to our commitment of ‘tech-ing up the Philippines’, we are joining the sandbox so that we, as a commercial bank, are prepared to support the future financial ecosystem of the Philippines as blockchain adoption further increases. This allows us to learn and develop products that will provide the best experience for our customers.”

R3’s Sandbox for Digital Currencies is built on Corda, the permissioned peer-to-peer (P2P) distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform that enables the building of applications that foster and deliver digital trust between parties in regulated markets. UnionBank will benefit from its cutting edge advancements in interoperability and cross border functionalities, including emerging features such as dynamic liquidity management.

Cathy Minter, Chief Revenue Officer at R3 said, “We are pleased to welcome UnionBank as the first commercial bank in the Philippines to join R3 Sandbox for Digital Currencies. With increasing interest around CBDCs and blockchain in the country, UnionBank could not have joined at a more opportune time given the rapid growth of the Philippines’ digital economy. We are looking forward to supporting and journeying alongside UnionBank in their plans to test and deploy digital currencies that enable great security in payment settlements in the country.”

With financial institutions in the sandbox from both the public and private sector across the world, the sandbox is a robust avenue for participants to exchange ideas and learn from one another through direct digital collaboration.

Participants including UnionBank can experiment with different models, see the flow of funds and how this operates in a controlled environment, develop CBDCs frameworks and best practices, and ultimately co-create game changing use cases that will be part of the blueprint for the future of banking in the token economy.

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