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Philippines’ UnionBank said it is looking to tap into a maturing digital asset space as institutional and customer interest grow.

The Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), one of the country’s largest by total assets, is leaning on Asia’s crypto custodian Hex Trust to pilot a digital asset custody service.

Hex Trust will begin by providing an internal service for the bank’s employees as a pilot run. The bank said it is looking to tap into a maturing digital asset space as institutional and customer interest grow.

The next stage will involve rolling out a fully commercialized 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 within a regulated environment, the bank said.

UnionBank, one of the island nation’s top 10 banks by total assets, also said it is fully compliant in its latest offering with the Philippines’ 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,” said Henry Aguda, the bank’s chief technology and operations officer.

Hong Kong-based Hex Trust provides what it calls “bank-grade” custodial services for digital assets and has built its solutions targeting banks, financial institutions, asset managers, exchanges and corporations.

Last year, Hex Trust teamed with enterprise blockchain company R3 to offer banking clients another option for issuing security tokens using R3’s Corda software development kit. It also claimed to be working with one of Asia’s largest banks.

Hex Trust has offices in Hong Kong as well as Singapore and said it is expanding to the European market throughout the remainder of this year.



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