October 31, 2019 – UnionBank of the Philippines’ blockchain-based Project i2i has been making progress in its initiative for financial inclusion in the Philippines.
In a press release, UnionBank said Project i2i now consists of 35 rural banks across 150 branches and 250,000 accounts nationwide. This data covers all major cities. Also, 70 more rural banks are set to join the network soon. To date, there are around 500 rural banks in the Philippines.
UnionBank also revealed that there were 335 transactions performed last August 2019 and the transaction volume exceeds $1 million.
Project i2i is a blockchain project that aims to connect rural banks together and into the country’s main banking system. Remember that rural banks are not part of Automated Clearing Houses (which in turn means they are almost not part of initiatives like Instapay and Pesopay). They are also excluded from international networks such as SWIFT.
“Project i2i closes this gap as rural banks can affordably leverage its network to connect to local ACHs, commercial banks and other rural banks, to perform real-time transactions powered by blockchain technology and UnionBank’s very own PHX stablecoin added to the platform in July.”
I2i is leveraging UB’s own stablecoin PHX (which is pegged to the Philippine Peso) to facilitate transactions. UnionBank initially piloted a near real-time cross-border transfer using tokenized fiat from OCBC Bank in Singapore to Cantilan Bank, a rural bank in the Philippines.
I2i is just one of UnionBank’s initiative to leverage blockchain, a technology which the bank believes to be one of the biggest in the near future. CEO Edwin Bautista, in an earlier statement during the launch of the Blockchain Xcellerator Program, said this blockchain takeover will be an opportunity for the Philippine workforces.
This article is published on BitPinas: 35 Rural Banks Across 150 Branches Now Part of UnionBank Blockchain Project i2i