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S Korean Bank Unveils ‘Country’s First Blockchain-powered Loans’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank says it has launched the nation’s first blockchain-powered loans.

Source: iStock/Im Yeongsik

The bank says that it will use blockchain-powered solutions to overcome hurdles for members of the general public applying for loans online, and will apply the technology to its scraping activities. In the banking world, scraping refers to the process whereby banks check large amounts of financial data on loan applicants.

The notice the woman is holding says “blockchain loans” in Korean. Source: Shinhan Bank

While such data typically comprises easy-to-upload information such as certificates of employment, in the case of certain other documents (papers that prove individuals hold certain qualifications or belong to recognized organizations), such data usually needs to be processed by hand – which can take up to three working days using non-blockchain solutions. However, Shinhan says its new blockchain-powered system will allow it to instead make “real-time” checks on certifications, dramatically speeding up the loan approvals procedure.

Per media outlet Paxnet, a Shinhan spokesperson said, “This new blockchain solution will let us go on to launch a range of [online] products.”

The bank also says the technology has already been pioneered to some extent in its Shinhan Doctor Loan product – a loan available for medical professionals – which it released in late summer last year.

As previously reported, South Korean banks are currently engaged in a race to commercialize their blockchain offerings, with most hoping to release a slew of offerings in the second half of 2019.

Shinhan is hoping to unveil blockchain-powered foreign exchange, credit products, bonds, derivatives, import and export financing services in the near future.