Woori – major Korean bank announcing crypto custody services

Recently, a growing number of leading South Korean banks have been building joint experiments with secondary ownership to enter the crypto custody market, complying with local regulations.

According to a report from The Korean Economic Daily, Woori Woori Financial Group (the group’s banking unit) became the latest primary South Korean business institution announcing that it will launch digital asset custody services.

The bank is partnering with Bitcoin-based fintech company, Coinplug to establish a digital asset custody joint trial, dubbed D-Custody.

Coinplug is going to be D-Custody’s largest shareholder, after Woori Bank. In fact, this joint venture might be incorporated in the coming weeks.

Existing Korean legislation states that domestic entities cannot access the services of cryptocurrency exchanges. In other words, the country’s banks are able to enter the crypto market through joint ventures of share investments.

An increasing number of Korean financial institutions plan to set up joint tests with partial ownership to gain space in the industry. At the same time, local banks do not have the authority to enter the digital asset custody market. A Woori Bank representative said:

In overseas markets, digital asset custody became a successful, established practice in the new services that banks offer.

As of 2020, four of South Korea’s five largest banks declared their plan to launch crypto custody services. Those banks are Woori Bank, Kookmin Bank, NH Nonghyup Bank, Shinhan Bank.

Kookmin is considered the country’s largest financial institution. They filed for a trademark request for its custody service at the beginning of 2020 before establishing Korea Digital Asset Co. in partnership with this fund.

In 2020, Nonghyup Bank decided to launch financial services related to blockchain in partnership with Hexlant (blockchain developer). The group also announced their plans to launch a custody business with Korea Information & Communications Co.

Lastly, in 2021, Shinhan Bank announced that it had prepared a strategic investment in the crypto custody (Korea Digital Asset Trust) backed by Korbit, a prominent local exchange.

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