KB Kookmin Bank (KB), the largest commercial bank in South Korea, crypto investment firm Hashed and crypto-asset trading firm Cumberland Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the management and storage of digital assets, form joint responses for regulatory changes, and source new business opportunities that leverage blockchain technology in South Korea.
In January, the government-owned bank filed its trademark application for digital assets custody with the Korean Intellectual Property Office. The trademark is called Kbdac. It covers more than 20 crypto-related areas, crypto news outlets reported reported.
According to a statement on August 7, KB said it predicts that the crypto industry will evolve beyond virtual currencies to include other traditional assets such as real estate and artwork that will be issued and traded on blockchain platforms.
Simon Kim, chief executive officer of Hashed, the crypto investment company with offices in San Francisco and Seoul, noted: “Combining our 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.”
The news comes as banks, which have since started to muscle their way into the cryptocurrency space, received backing from the US government. In July, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave local banks the go-ahead to manage and store digital assets on behalf of their customers.
In South Korea, the government, which had previously banned ICOs, in March, amended the Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Information Act to recognize cryptocurrencies for the first time and recently classified them as taxable.