South Korean Hana Bank Announces Partnership with BitGo
- BitGo plans to focus on improving transparency in South Korea’s digital market.
- South Korean citizens were recently ranked as one of the most crypto-aware users.
- South Korea recently announced plans to track and freeze North Korean-owned digital assets.
KEB Hana Bank, one of South Korea’s biggest banks, is entering the digital assets market following a new partnership with crypto custody company BitGo. According to the local news source Yonhap, KEB Hana Bank and BitGo have reached an agreement on developing digital asset custody in South Korea.
A representative of the bank told local sources that “we expect to contribute to raising trust and consumer protection in the domestic digital asset market by promoting the digital asset custody sector with our global partners.”
As per local reports, Hana Bank and BitGo will launch their joint custody service in the second half of 2024. BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said the company will concentrate on boosting security and transparency in the South Korean digital asset market.
Hana Bank recently showed support for tokenized deposit technology as a substitute for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and private stablecoins. KEB Hana Bank has past experience in Web3. In 2022, the bank established a branch on The Sandbox, a metaverse platform.
Crypto activity surges in South Korea
Cryptocurrency activities have increased in South Korea in recent months. A recent report by Consensys and YouGov ranked South Koreans as one of the most crypto-aware globally. About 63% of respondents from South Korea said they had knowledge of cryptocurrencies, and some had already made investments in the sector.
Interestingly, South Korean authorities have been working on regulating the sector to make it more secure and improve competition. In addition, South Korean authorities recently established a virtual crime unit to combat a recent surge of cybercrimes in the nation.
Local sources revealed on Monday that South Korea’s government is planning a bill seeking to track and freeze crypto assets owned by North Korea and used to fund its illegal weapon program.
North Korean hackers are behind some of the biggest attacks on crypto platforms in recent months. TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence company, recently revealed that, since 2018, North Korean cyberattacks have cost the world roughly $2 billion.
According to the intelligence firm, North Korea was directly behind the loss of $200 million in cryptocurrency in 2023. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also working to uncover state-sponsored hackers.