One of the largest banks ranked by asset value in South Korea, KB Kookmin Bank, has entered into a partnership with Hashed, a crypto assets fund and community builder, to provide custody services for digital assets.
According to an official announcement, with other major countries such as China and Japan joining the global arms race for central bank digital currency (CBDC), "there is an increasing demand among banks to gain exposure in blockchain assets and services."
Hashed Legal and Compliance Officer, Jin Kang, says the partnership signals a shifting stance of the government that previously banned domestic ICOs back in 2017.
"The partnership beckons a start of a long journey in building the necessary technology stack," Kang added.
While it is unclear what cryptocurrencies exactly KB Kookmin Bank will custody, Hashed CEO Simon Kim said that by combining the fund's 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."
iHodl earlier reported that Korea's popular messenger KakaoTalk finally launched its own blockchain-based digital asset wallet called Klip.
However, the wallet supports only 11 Klaytn-based cryptocurrencies (KLAY, BOX, BPT, PIB, HINT, ATT, TEMCO, BNS, PXL, ISR, COSM) as well as a multitude of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
In July, the US government bureau that regulates national financial institutions and federal savings associations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), published a letter in which clarified its position on providing cryptocurrency custody services from banks.
According to the letter, the regulator understands there is "a growing demand" for safe places, including banks, to hold unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrencies on behalf of customers and to provide related custody services.
As national banks can offer custody services for physical assets they are also allowed to provide the same services for digital assets, the OCC said.
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