The Bank of Korea continues to show interest in blockchain technology.
South Korea’s central bank is reportedly looking for a company that can build for it a blockchain platform that would improve record keeping for the Korean blockchain market.
“Bond transactions could be recorded on the blockchain and could even form the basis for a ‘real-time simultaneous payment trading system,’ a local official told Yonhap. The system would be designed to be shared between relevant financial institutions as well as the BOK and the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), Korea’s financial watchdog.”
The South Korean bond market is one of Asia’s largest. The Bank of Korea is taking its cues from a 2018 World Bank project that mandated the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange the world’s first blockchain bonds.
Before we get too excited, however, the Bank of Korea is unlikely to launch this service until South Korea attains a bit more regulatory clarity, a hesitation shared by many other Korean financial institutions when it comes to blockchain projects (see below).
On the bright side, though, Korea might be getting that regulatory clarity as CoinDesk Korea is reporting that the legislative affairs committee of South Korea’s parliament could put revisions to the Financial Transactions Reporting Act to a vote during a session this week.
If the revisions — seen as the first step to bringing cryptocurrency into Korea’s mainstream — are passed by the committee, they are likely to be passed by a parliamentary plenary session.
Also in Korea’s blockchain space…
- Korea’s Hancom and Shinhan Bank collaborate for digital assets
(By Ledger Insights, Feb. 20)
Hancom — makers of Korea’s ubiquitous Hangul office suite — has entered into a partnership with the IT unit of Shinhan bank to build a blockchain-based asset management platform. Ledger Insights writes, “Hancom, which has prior experience in blockchain, will provide blockchain research and development personnel, while Shinhan will lead the technology strategy and platform structure design.”
- South Korean Banks ‘Sitting on Crypto Plans in Regulatory Limbo’
(By Tim Alper, Cryptonews, Feb. 18)
Korean banks and other financial institutions reportedly have plenty of cryptocurrency-related plans, but can’t go public with them because of regulatory uncertainty. This applies to both revealing cryptoasset plans and commercialization of blockchain projects. Tim Alper writes at Cryptonews, “The comments came in the wake of a new report that found over half of South Korea’s banks and financial institutions are seriously considering launching blockchain-related services or have already begun developing blockchain-powered solutions.”
- Cryptocurrencies to Be Sent and Received through KakaoTalk Beginning This Summer
(By Yoon Young-sil, BusinessKorea, Feb. 19)
Ground X, the blockchain subsidiary of Korean internet giant Kakao, will release its Klip cryptocurrency wallet in the first half of the year, allowing anyone in a PC or mobile environment to manage digital assets. Global users will be able to use the Global Klip wallet from the second half of the year.
- Samsung Is Quietly Becoming A Major Bitcoin, Crypto And Blockchain Player
(By Billy Bambrough, Forbes, Feb. 18)
Samsung’s latest range of flagship smartphones includes the Galaxy G10’s cryptocurrency support, which could provide a major boost to Bitcoin adoption. “Samsung, the South Korean technology giant and creator of the Galaxy smartphone range, could soon become one of the biggest drivers of bitcoin, crypto and blockchain adoption,” writes Forbes. “While bitcoin traders and investors are focused on the upcoming bitcoin halving, a looming U.S. bitcoin crackdown, and rocky crypto trading volume, Samsung is putting the power of bitcoin, crypto and blockchain in people’s hands.”