Today Hana Bank, Korea’s fourth largest by capital, signed an agreement with U.S. digital asset custody firm BitGo. Once BitGo has established its Korean subsidiary, the two firms will jointly launch a crypto custody business in the second half of 2024.
A Hana Bank official said, “We are expected to contribute to strengthening trust and consumer protection in the domestic digital asset market by promoting (a) digital asset custody business together with global partners.”
According to the Korean site The Block Post, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said, “Together with Hana Bank, we want to build a long-term foundation for the security token issuance (STO) market.”
Hana Bank is Korea’s fourth largest by capital and a late entrant to the custody space. In October 2020, Shinhan Bank invested in Korea Digital Asset Trust (KDAC). And the largest bank, Kookmin, invested in KODA around a similar timeframe.
In July we reported that Hana Bank is starting to explore blockchain-based deposit tokens, which will either be CBDC-backed or use CBDC for interbank settlement.
While Belshe mentioned security tokens, several major Korean banks formed a security token alliance that does not yet include Hana Bank. NongHyup Bank initiated the consortium, which involves Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea.
Meanwhile, BitGo recently closed a $100 million Series C funding round without disclosing the backers. Earlier investors included Goldman Sachs and Galaxy Digital. In May 2021, Galaxy Digital acquired the company for $1.2 billion, but the transaction fell through after Galaxy alleged BitGo failed to deliver audited financial statements within the agreed timeframe.