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South Korea’s largest lender plans to offer cryptocurrency custodial services

Kookmin Bank will soon offer cryptocurrency custody services to its clients.

Kookmin Bank Logo / Wikimedia Commons

Tue, 11 Aug 2020, 02:26 am UTC

Lately, various banking institutions across the globe have launched crypto-related services suggesting that the banking industry is slowly warming up to the idea of digital currencies. South Korea’s largest banking institution, Kookmin Bank (KB), is the latest bank to join the trend with its recent announcement that it will soon be offering Bitcoin (BTC) custodial services.

KB Kookmin Bank announced that it has entered into a deal with crypto exchange Cumberland Korea, Haechi Labs, and Blockchain venture fund Hashed, according to The purpose of the deal is to allow KB to offer Bitcoin (BTC) custody services to its clients.

The publication likewise reported that the government-owned financial institution has already filed its trademark application for cryptocurrency custody. The trademark application, named Kbdac, was filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office in January and overs 20 areas.

KB is optimistic about the cryptocurrency industry’s trajectory in the country. The lender believes that the industry will evolve beyond digital currencies and will eventually include other assets such as artwork and real estate that will be traded on the blockchain.

Kookmin Bank’s announcement to offer the service follows that of its competitor Nonghyup Bank. NH Bank also announced in July that it plans to introduce crypto custody services for its corporate investors. KB’s recent deal with Hashed, Cumberland, and Haechi Labs was inspired by the positive changes in South Korea’s regulation deemed supportive of blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses.

“I welcome this opportunity to collaborate with KB Bank so that South Korea can take the lead in the emerging market of digital assets,” said Simon Kim, the chief executive officer of Hashed, Medium reported. “Combining our insight in the blockchain industry and providing both technical and commercial consultations will inevitably open new doors to consumers as well as to the country in ushering the new era of digital transformation.”

Hashed is based in Seoul and San Francisco but has a global portfolio of digital assets investments. One of Hashed's aims is to nurture technological advancements in areas of data sovereignty and privacy protection. It is involved in several blockchain projects in South Korea such as “Kakao’s public blockchain platform, Klaytn, and Line’s similar counterpart, Link.”

Meanwhile, Cumberland is a trading firm with 25 years of experience in the global markets. Its crypto asset trading service enables institutional clients and high net worth individuals to invest in opportunities in the crypto space.

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