Traditional banks in South Korea are currently attracted to cryptocurrency custody business, a service that deals with the storage of crypto assets. This comes as more people and institutional investors are becoming attracted to digital assets like cryptocurrencies. Two leading banks in South Korea have considered crypto custody options.
In a report by local news media, the two South Korean banks that announced their intention to introduce cryptocurrency asset services include Woori and Shinhan. That is, four of the leading five banks in the country, which hold an aggregate value of over $1.2 trillion in assets, are now ready for the introduction of cryptocurrency services.
Both Woori and Shinhan are interested in holding and managing cryptocurrencies for clients. The announcement of their intentions is a direct response to the amended Special Financial Transactions Information Act, which was introduced to bring changes to legislation regarding cryptocurrency assets and to be enforced from 2021.
Before now, Shinhan bank revealed its intentions to engage in cryptocurrency storage in 2017; however, things did not go as planned due to South Korea?s government thwarting actions in January 2018.
In an effort towards implementing cryptocurrency custodial features, both NH Nonghyup Bank and Kookmin Bank were able to coordinate blockchain teams. NH Nonghyup bank hopes to introduce services for institutional investors in the months ahead.
A few months ago, Kookmin Bank applied for a patent for a virtual asset trademark related to investment. Likewise, the bank agreed to do business with blockchain security firm Hatch Labs in the past week, towards securing the digital asset space.
Nevertheless, according to the opinion of blockchain experts in South Korea, these steps are not enough, referencing the United States which seems ahead of the banking sector in South Korea.
In the words of Park Seong-jun of Blockchain Research Center in Dongguk University, while other countries are quick about things, Korea lacks legal system and it is not moving as anticipated. He said his worry is about the country?s loss of financial competitiveness.