More South Korean conventional finance firms are set to follow Nonghyup (NH Bank) into the cryptoasset industry, say experts, academics, and industry insiders – who think regulators may offer banks safe passage into the crypto sector.
As reported earlier this week, NH has announced it will begin crypto custody services for industrial investors, and is currently working with Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) on possible business opportunities. The bank also indicated it would look to offer securities token custody, as well as digital fiat custodial services – should the central Bank of Korea push ahead with a digital won rollout.
But per a report from EBN, more banks are likely to follow suit in the months ahead.
NH rival Kookmin (KB Bank) has registered a brand and trademark named KBDAC with the Korea Intellectual Property Office. EBN says that KB is “preparing to move into the cryptoasset market in the future.”
The KB trademark application states that the business will deal with “cryptoasset trading and information provision, as well as management and consultation.”
Experts say there is more to come.
The media outlet says that crypto exchanges are “anxious” that they will be edged out of the market “when the [conventional] financial sector enters the [crypto] market.”
EBN quotes an unnamed crypto exchange employee as stating,
“Exchanges have been struggling along, trying to comply with restrictive government regulations, but now big banks are starting to get involved in the crypto sector, they will probably end up with a much easier [regulatory] ride.”
Others expressed optimism.
EBN quotes Park Soo-yong, a blockchain specialist and a professor of computer science at Sogang University, as saying,
“It’s natural that the financial sector now begins to move into [crypto] services. It shows how far the crypto industry has come. This move will help expand the size of the market.”