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South Korean Banks Bet Big on Blockchain

South Korean Banks Bet Big on Blockchain 101
Source: iStock/NicolasMcComber

Some of South Korea’s largest commercial banks are stepping up their blockchain activities in what is proving to be a year of massive investment in fintech for the country.

IBK Bank has teamed up with Terra, a public blockchain provider that operates a blockchain-based payment system. Terra was founded by the creator of one of the country’s biggest e-commerce platforms, TMON – and last year struck a business deal with the Kakako Group’s Ground X blockchain affiliate.

ZDNet Korea quotes Terra’s CEO Shin Hyun-seung as stating that the IBK-Terra partnership will see the companies develop “payment services that consumers can actually experience.” Shin also says the companies will co-create “a wide range of financial products and services."

IBK has processed more money from South Korean cryptocurrency exchange platforms than any of its rivals.

Watch the latest reports by Block TV.

There was also a blockchain breakthrough for IBK competitor Woori Bank. Woori was given the green light on a blockchain-powered initiative that will allow its customers to exchange foreign and domestic currency or make cash withdrawals of up to USD 850 at airport drive-through restaurants, fast food outlets, stores and parking lots. The initiative will begin in October this year.

Woori’s project is part of a regulatory sandbox program operated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) – one of the country’s top regulators.

Per ET News, the FSC has also given its approval to a blockchain-powered real estate platform to be co-developed by two more banks – KEB Hana and KB.

Readers may recall that KB is also working with LG on a range of blockchain projects, including a possible LG Coin – a digital token or cryptocurrency currently being tested behind closed doors.

KEB Hana, meanwhile, has previously filed no less than 46 blockchain technology-related patents, and has joined the international R3 CEV, Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance blockchain consortiums.

Earlier this week, a range of South Korea’s largest conglomerates also unveiled the scope of their blockchain ambitions – with plans to commercialize the technology before the year is out.

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