One of South Korea's Biggest Banks is Developing Blockchain Remittances

South Korea's KB Kookmin Bank is developing a blockchain remittance solution with the aim of ushering in "safer and faster" foreign exchange services.

AccessTimeIconFeb 12, 2016 at 8:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:08 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

South Korea's KB Kookmin Bank is developing a blockchain solution for international remittances with the aim of ushering in "safer and faster" foreign exchange services.

For the initiative, the commercial bank said it is partnering with local bitcoin startup Coinplug to utilise patents the firm holds in the field.

In statements, KB Kookmin Bank explained that banks currently send overseas remittances via the SWIFT network, which sends payments through an intermediary before they arrive at the beneficiary institution.

However, utilising blockchain technology avoids the intermediary, and could reduce costs and result in possible savings for the customer, the bank said.

A bank spokesperson remarked:

"Blockchain technology is a new trend and we are trying to adopt this technology in a low level of data integrity platform. We are planning to escalate our services further to provide more secure and comfortable financial services for our customers."

KB Kookmin Bank is the largest subsidiary of KP Financial group, which according to KB's 2014 annual report, it earned KRW 1.4tn ($1.16bn) in revenue from more than 30 million customers, an amount it estimates is more than half the population of Korea.

Blockchain verification

In the same announcement, Kookmin also announced plans to develop an "overseas fund transfer and data storage service" that can be used for verification when opening online bank accounts.

This new offering will also be based on distributed ledger technology, the bank said.

According to the company, the move follows a shift in stance by Korea's Financial Service Committee that has enabled online verification to be used for this purpose, a new policy it said aims to promote online financial services and encourage financial start-ups.

Coinplug provides Koreans with a variety of bitcoin services, such as in-store card schemes and digital currency purchases via standard ATMs. The company has closed a number of funding rounds which have raised at least $8m since late 2013.

Korea image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.