The largest bank in South Korea is KB Kookmin and they partnered with a Blockchain startup called Atomrigs Labs back in 2019 to launch a digital asset custody offering. They signed their strategic partnership last June. Atomrigs Labs is currently developing a product called Lime. Lime is a system that secures digital assets, especially cryptocurrencies using MPC Technology. Their main interest is in information protection technologies as well as digital asset protection technologies. This has paved the way for KB Kookmin Bank to launch a cryptocurrency custody service themselves called KBDAC.

KB Kookmin Brings Credibility to Cryptocurrencies

This is big news as a major Korean bank seems to be embracing cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies. This could be the first step in creating a Blockchain ecosystem in Korea for the finance industry. Back in January of 2020, KB Bank filed its trademark application for the proposed digital asset custody service. The filing stated that KB Bank wanted to trademark KBDAC in more than 20 cryptocurrency-related areas that cover almost all businesses that use virtual assets. This could lead the way for KB Bank to create a subsidiary that focused on trading, managing cryptocurrencies, consulting, as well as consigning, settling, and transacting in fiat currencies.

The major concerns people in Korea have in regard to 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 2021. The hope is to bridge the blockchain industry and the Fintech industry in Korea.

KB Kookmin Partners with Cumberland Korea and Blockchain Venture Fund Hashed

KB has partnered with crypto trading firm 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 Invests into KODA

Kookmin Bank invested in Korea Digital Asset (KODA) a digital asset management company. It will be a new joint-venture that will allow KB to launch its own digital asset custody service by 2022. They will also launch crypto custody, anti-money laundering, OTC trading services, crypto deposits, lending, and payment services by the end of 2022. This makes KB one of the most active banks not only in South Korea but in Asia in regards to the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies for the banking sector.

Incorporating Blockchain Technologies into Korean Banking

Kookmin BankKB 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 for banking. Some of the 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 in regards to 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. Only time will tell but this is a step in the right direction as we head into 2021.