South Korean Hana Bank Ventures into Crypto Custody Services in Partnership with BitGo

One of South Korea’s prominent financial institutions, KEB Hana Bank, has unveiled its strategic move into the digital asset custody sector through a newly established partnership with BitGo Trust Company, a leading cryptocurrency custody provider.

The collaboration between KEB Hana Bank and BitGo signifies a significant step forward in the South Korean financial landscape. KEB Hana Bank, boasting a substantial network of 111 branches and holding local banking assets totaling nearly $10 billion, has joined forces with BitGo Trust Company, a recognized name in the world of cryptocurrency custody. The partnership aims to establish a robust digital asset custody presence in South Korea, marking a pivotal moment in the bank’s history.

The official announcement of this strategic partnership was made on September 5, during Korea Blockchain Week, a prominent event within the cryptocurrency industry. As part of their joint venture, BitGo will contribute its advanced custody solutions, while KEB Hana Bank will provide its extensive financial service expertise and deep knowledge of compliance matters.

A representative from Hana Bank expressed their vision for this collaboration, stating, “By promoting digital asset custody business together with global partners, we expect to contribute to strengthening trust in the domestic digital asset market and consumer protection.” This sentiment underlines their commitment to fostering a secure and reliable environment for digital asset holders in South Korea.

BitGo’s CEO, Mike Belshe, highlighted the company’s focus on enhancing transparency and security within the South Korean digital asset industry, reinforcing the importance of trust and safety in this rapidly evolving landscape.

The partnership’s roadmap includes plans to launch their joint cryptocurrency custody venture in the second half of 2024, as reported by various sources. This timeline suggests a well-thought-out strategy for entering the market, ensuring that all necessary preparations and regulatory requirements are met.

Notably, Hana Bank has shown keen interest in tokenized deposit technology as an innovative alternative to private stablecoins and central bank digital currencies. In July 2023, the bank collaborated with local private banks, such as Woori Bank, and contributed to a report alongside Maeli Business News Korea. The report explored the concept of “certificate of deposit” tokens, which have the potential to replace traditional notes and deposits without disrupting the established banking ecosystem. This proactive approach highlights Hana Bank’s commitment to staying at the forefront of financial innovation.

As South Korea’s financial landscape embraces the digital asset revolution, the partnership between KEB Hana Bank and BitGo represents a pivotal moment, marking the beginning of a new era for digital asset custody and financial services in the region.

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