The largest bank in South Korea is KB Kookmin, and they are looking to become the first bank in South Korea to offer crypto investment products to retail investors. They formed a Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee in early 2022. KB is now in charge of determining product and strategy capabilities regarding AI investment funds and digital assets. They plan to launch a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) in 2023. KB Financial Group is Korea’s largest firm by net profit, with an estimated $550 billion in total assets.

KB Kookmin Brings Credibility to Cryptocurrencies

The fact that a Korean bank is embracing cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies is big news. They are leading the way in creating a Blockchain ecosystem in Korea for the finance industry. The major concerns people in Korea have regarding cryptocurrencies are security concerns. If a major Korean bank like KB Kookmin can bring credibility to cryptocurrencies, the digital assets space in Korea could explode in 2023. The hope is to bridge the blockchain industry and the Fintech industry in Korea.

Their plan for 2023 is to launch a crypto investment index fund called the OCIO fund.

KB Kookmin Partners Cumberland Korea and Blockchain Venture Fund Hashed

Some of KB Kookmin’s partners include a crypto trading firm called Cumberland Korea and Blockchain Venture Fund Hashed. The partnership focuses on securing and managing digital assets, lobbying regulatory bodies, and developing the legacy financial system.

“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,” said the CEO of Hashed, Simon Kim.

Kookmin Bank Investment into KODA

Kookmin Bank invested in Korea Digital Asset (KODA), a digital asset management company. A new joint venture allowed KB to launch its digital asset custody service by the end of 2023. They also plan to launch crypto custody, anti-money laundering, OTC trading services, crypto deposits, lending, and payment services by the end of 2023. This makes KB one of the most active banks in South Korea and Asia regarding the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies for the banking sector.

Incorporating Blockchain Technologies into Korean Banking

Kookmin Bank

KB Kookmin is one of the leading Korean Banks looking to use Blockchain technologies to improve its internal banking process. Therefore, there are many reasons to incorporate Blockchain technology in banking. Some benefits include issuing digital coins, alternative funding options, custodial services, and trading. The most interesting aspect of Blockchain technology is its decentralized ledger. Therefore, this technology will be crucial in fighting against money laundering and help with customer verification.

“We see Blockchain as a big wave that will disrupt finance in the future. We need to be ready for the moment when different types of assets turn into tokens, although we don’t know when that will be,” said Lee Woo-yeol, Chief Information Officer at KB Kookmin.

KB Kookmin has focused a lot on Blockchain technologies. However, they are also looking into AI and the cloud data ecosystem. Do they know something regarding regulations on cryptocurrencies being established in South Korea? The fact the bank has applied for a trademark suggests most of the product development is now done. Therefore a launch date for the service should be coming soon.