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South Korea’s oldest bank invests into crypto custody consortium

Shinhan Bank plans to offer its own crypto custody service to clients.

Shinhan Bank / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Wed, 13 Jan 2021, 07:43 am UTC

Shinhan Bank, South Korea’s oldest bank, is pushing ahead with its planned entry into the crypto space with its investment into a crypto custody consortium backed by Korbit. The move is part of the bank’s efforts to launch its own digital assets custody services.

On Thursday, January 7, local news outlet Yonhap reported that Shinhan Bank made an investment into Korea Digital Asset Trust or KDAC, according to Cointelegraph. The initiative was launched by South Korean crypto exchange Korbit in partnership with digital asset research firm Fair Square Lab and blockchain company Blocko.

Shinhan Bank’s investment into KDAC moves it closer to launching its own cryptocurrency-related business. The bank announced in August 2020 that it plans to offer a crypto custody service.

The bank said that offering its own crypto custody service will not only improve customer experience but it will also enhance its compliance capabilities. “We will secure competitiveness in custody services and proactively respond to the rapidly changing digital asset market due to the implementation of the Special Financial Information Act,” Shinhan Financial Group chairman and CEO Yong-Byung Cho said.

Shinhan Bank also explained that its KDAC investment will allow it to deploy technology to protect its clients “from external and embezzlement risks.” The bank added that the technology used in the project can also be applied in decentralized finance to protect the sector from hackers and other high-tech threats.

“In a situation where all companies, regardless of business, are digitally active, the fate of Shinhan will also depend on digital transformation,” the Shinhan Bank CEO added. “Based on the driving system, all Shinhan people should accelerate digital innovation with one heart.”

Aside from Shinhan, other major players in South Korea’s banking industry have already revealed plans to enter the crypto space. For instance, Kookmin Bank announced in November that it plans to launch digital asset custody services in less than a year.

Similarly, NH Bank revealed its crypto-related plans even earlier than its peers. Back in July 2020, the bank already unveiled plans to build a crypto custodial services platform for institutional clients.

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