A South Korean bank that manages $270 billion in deposits has partnered with a law firm and a dev studio to move into the crypto space.
NH NongHyup Bank has partnered with one of the biggest law firms in the country, Pacific Law (Bae, Kim & Lee), and Hexlant which says they are working with Samsung Blockchain, Shinhan Bank, Ground X and other enterprises to develop blockchain technology.
According to a local paper they aim “to launch a joint institution for the research and development of cryptocurrency exchanges.”
A new law in South Korea requires anti money laundering compliance for crypto assets with the bank so preparing for the potential entrance of institutional investors.
“We launched a consortium to proactively respond to the entry of digital assets into the institutional sector,” said Seung-Hyun Jang, vice president of Nonghyup Bank, before adding:
“We will create new business models in the digital age and lead the digital asset market with our partners.”
This comes at a time when China is further cracking down on cryptocurrencies with South Korea previously taking advantage of it.
When China closed crypto exchanges in 20117, volumes ballooned in South Korean exchanges which at times developed significant premiums due to higher demand and arbitrage difficulties because of regulatory barriers.
China allowed Over the Counter (OTC) traders however, but they’re now seemingly moving to dissuade those too with South Korea potentially again to be a beneficiary due to proximity and a somewhat similar culture.
In stark contrast to China, South Korea has been very welcoming to cryptos with numerous famous brands providing different crypto related service like the Samsung bitcoin and ethereum wallet.
It’s the first time however that we hear a bank from there is moving into this space, especially where crypto trading facilities are concerned.