South Korean Woori bank enters crypto space
One of the biggest banks in South Korea, Woori Financial Group, will soon offer crypto custody services. The bank will develop a joint venture effort with Coinplug, a blockchain-based developing company, according to reports from news outlet, Korean Economic Daily. Coinplug is a blockchain solutions developing company with more than 300 blockchain patents.
Woori is the third bank entering the crypto custody market in the country, after KB Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank.
While South Koreans have traditionally been drawn to cryptocurrency, regulations are tight and exchanges cannot operate as custodials. Therefore, banks have entered the space and started including crypto custody to their offerings. However, banks will need to partner up, since from a legal standpoint, the cannot offer these services on their own and need to enter the market via joint ventures.
Considering that Korean hold high levels in banks, they are in a good spot to be the preferred providers of crypto custody in the country. A Woori official stated on their expansion:
“In overseas markets, the digital asset custody has become a successful, established practice among the new services offered by the banks.”
South Korean regulators are increasingly on crypto, with new regulations that have severely affected cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. Police officers in the country are also prohibited from buying crypto since May of this year. The Korean Central Bank have also just announced the start of a Central Bank Digital Currency trial this summer.
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Author: Peter Siu