Top South Korean Banks to Introduce Crypto Custody Services

Various South Korean banks plan to launch crypto custody services. The crypto custody is now a key priority for South Korean banks.

By · Aug 18, 2020 . 6min read

South Korean banks

Recently in South Korea, the government, which had earlier outlawed ICOs, in March, amended the Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Information Act to acknowledge cryptocurrencies for the first time and lately classified them as taxable. After the amendments, the Crypto industry has been booming in South Korea. Various South Korean banks plan to launch crypto custody services by March next year “at the latest.” 

As per a report from the ET news, crypto custody is now a key priority for South Korean banks. The publication quotes an anonymous banking official stating, “I know that multiple commercial banks plan to launch crypto custodial services before the end of the year. Although there are differences in schedules, other banks will launch services before March 2021 at the latest.”

Top 4 Korean Banks Target Crypto Space

According to Korean banks, there is an increase in customer demand, and diversification is the reason behind the surge in crypto interest. The top five Korean banks collectively hold approximately $1.2 trillion of assets under management. Among them and four of those banks, namely Woori, Shinhan, Kookmin, and Nonghyup, target the crypto space.

NH Nonghyup Bank and Kookmin Bank have set up blockchain “teams” to represent the custodial offering. The former even expects to roll out advanced characteristics to draw the well-heeled, the report noted. Shinhan had earlier declared crypto custody services in 2017 when Bitcoin touched $24,000 per coin. But it halted to act on those further after getting a legal notice.

Nevertheless, both Shinhan and Woori banks declared their plans directly after the amended Special Financial Transactions Information Act. It will change legislation encompassing crypto assets, coming into force next year. Earlier, Shinhan bank declared plans for crypto storage in 2017, but the government stopped these plans in January 2018.

Globally, banks are offering crypto services to their customers. Previously, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) stated that national banks and federal savings associations in the country are authorized to give cryptocurrency custody services for consumers. In Germany, approximately 40 banks have reportedly applied for a license from the nation’s top financial regulator, to offer cryptocurrency services.

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