A host of major South Korean securities firms — many of which may be affiliated with large commercial banks and business groups — are likely to launch cryptocurrency exchange platforms as early as next year.
According to Per Newspaperim, “seven major securities companies in the country” have applied to financial regulators for “preliminary approval” – and hopes to launch a “virtual asset exchange” in the “first half of next year.”
The names of the seven companies were not disclosed. But an unnamed official from one of the securities firms was quoted as saying that “at present” “necessary discussions for the establishment of” an exchange “are being finalized”.
The same news agency explained that the “preliminary authorization” process of companies is likely to be completed “by the end of the year” and that the companies also want to submit their “incorporation applications” before 2022.
Some of South Korea’s biggest stock players have expressed a desire to enter the crypto space and are likely to be among these seven.
One of these companies could be Mirae Asset Securities, one of the nation’s largest securities and insurance companies. The company, Newspaperim noted, has kicked off its crypto business “at a consortium level” and has chosen a subsidiary it wants to head its crypto-related operations.
The company is also said to be hiring “research and development staff” in a range of crypto-related fields, “including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and non-fungible tokens.” potential (NFT)”.
Meanwhile, one of Mirae Asset’s biggest competitors, Samsung Securities, “conducted a study on how to enter the blockchain-based security token business”.
The media explained that the company tried to hire experts to help them develop and operate a designated security token trading platform and develop blockchain-based smart contracts, but struggled to find the talent they were looking for.
Banks Nonghyup and Kookmin, both of which have crypto-related businesses and securities-related services, were also mentioned as potentially growing companies interested in launching businesses involved in cryptocurrency exchanges.
Experts say that “the entry of securities companies into the cryptocurrency exchange business” is “in line with” President Yun Seok-yeol’s pro-business approach to cryptocurrencies. death. Experts agree that the industry is hoping regulations will “relax” in the coming months.
Many banks had hoped to move into the crypto space before a small crackdown on the space in early 2018. However, after these events, most have shelved their plans. . However, they might be tempted to revisit their previous plans, if Yoon makes good on his promise.
Earlier this month, Cryptonews.com reported that SK Securities, part of the multi-billion dollar SK business conglomerate empire, announced plans to launch a “digital asset custody business” ending with a bank in the area.
In addition, this month, Hyundai Motor Securities (a subsidiary of Hyundai) signed an agreement with crypto exchange Bithumb, allowing users to check the status of their crypto holdings and access real-time market price data.
Local banks such as the aforementioned Nonghyup and Kookmin – as well as their rival Shinhan – have invested in or explored crypto custody solutions, while affiliate SK Square won acquired a 33.2% stake in crypto exchange Korbit in January.