Another two major commercial South Korean banks have expressed an interest in launching crypto custody services – but industry experts said they may be making their moves too late, and are lagging behind the American banks.
As previously reported, two other commercial banks – Nonghyup and Kookmin – have already thrown their hats into the crypto custody ring. The former said it hopes to launch services for “intuitional investors” in the coming months.
Per domestic media outlet Money Today, Woori and Shinhan have both stated that they are “considering introducing cryptoasset services” ahead of a new, potentially game-changing crypto-specific legal amendment that comes into force in spring next year.
The move is significant for Shinhan in particular. The bank has had to shelve ambitious crypto storage plans formulated all the way back in summer-fall 2017 after the government moved to intervene in what it called an “overheated” market in January 2018.
Shinhan had intended to build a network of ”crypto storage vaults” – a plan it may now seek to re-explore with banks now relatively bullish about their chances of at least catering to the needs of professional investors with an interest in crypto.
Regardless, blockchain experts have hinted that it may be a case of “too little, too late” for South Korean banks, with American counterparts already stealing a march in the crypto custody stakes.
The media outlet suggested that without “institutional support,” South Korean banks’ crypto custody drives may fall flat.
And Money Today quotes Park Sung-joon, head of the Blockchain Research Center at Dongguk University – and one of the nation’s leading blockchain specialists – as stating,
“Other countries are moving very quickly in this regard. But there is still no legal system in place in South Korea, so progress is slower than expected.”
Park added that “competitiveness” could be undermined by a lack of legal framework to support banks’ tentative steps into the world of crypto custody.
Industry insiders have previously told Cryptonews.com that banks are “sitting on” far more extensive crypto business expansion projects, but are now “biding their time” while they wait for government policy to thaw on all things crypto-related before going public with them.
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