- A top South Korean bank partnered with BitGo Trust Company to drive market expansion.
- BitGo plans to launch an office in South Korea in late 2024.
- South Korea continues to create a favorable environment for crypto adoption.
In the era of the cryptocurrency industry’s rapid evolution, countries worldwide are making bold strides to adopt the growing sector and its technologies. Amidst the surge, South Korea has played a major role as a front-runner in the global crypto conversation.
The country has diligently crafted a favorable regulatory roadmap and taken steps to foster crypto growth, cementing its position as a major crypto hub in Asia. The latest partnership between a top banking institution in the country and crypto custody platform BitGo represents a further step towards securing the influence of cryptocurrency in the South Korean financial landscape.
A Collaborative Leap
During Korea Blockchain Week in Seoul, one of South Korea’s largest financial institutions, KEB Hana Bank, announced its partnership with BitGo Trust Company, a California-based crypto custody and security platform, according to a local official report.
The firms aim to cooperate to enhance the quality of local digital assets services to meet global standards. KEB Hana is looking to promote its new digital offerings by leveraging BitGo’s blockchain technology, furthering its work to create a new blockchain-based currency system in collaboration with the Bank of Korea.
The agreement will also see BitGo open a branch in the country in 2024, following preparations and acquisition of the appropriate licenses.
The partnership represents a momentous achievement, bridging the gap between the traditional finance system and the fast-growing cryptocurrency sector in South Korea. The introduction of digital asset custody services is expected to diversify product offerings and promote the prominence of cryptocurrencies within the nation’s financial sector.
South Korea and Adopting Crypto
The South Korean crypto market has been rapidly ascending, establishing itself as one of the fastest-growing sectors within the nation, according to the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit. Over the years, the government has affirmed its readiness to embrace the adoption of digital assets and establish an extensive regulatory framework.
In June 2023, the country’s legislative parliament passed the ‘Virtual Asset User Protection’ bill. The legislation aims to regulate blockchain-based tokens and provide a safety net for investors, ensuring the seamless incorporation of digital assets by defining cryptocurrencies within a regulatory framework.
Furthermore, the country announced the formation of a joint investigation team in July, aiming to lessen the rate of cyberattacks and crypto-related crimes within the industry in the wake of the infamous Terra-Luna collapse, which shook the region’s confidence in the sector, resulting in over $1 billion in losses.
On the Flipside
- On September 4, South Korea passed a bill to track and freeze North Korea’s illicitly acquired digital assets.
- Korea’s crypto scene has had its fair share of controversies besides Terra, including the infamous “Kimchi Premium.”
- Hong Kong promotes cryptocurrency adoption within its region by granting landmark licenses to two exchanges.
Why This Matters
The strategic partnership between KEB Hana Bank and BitGo Trust Company has the potential to serve as a catalyst, encouraging other major financial institutions in South Korea to initiate analogous partnerships. These developments promise to propel the widespread acceptance and utilization of virtual assets within the country and the larger cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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