It seems that the adaption for banks to be more accepting of cryptocurrency has taken their regulations a step further, joining in on these investments themselves. The central bank of South Korea has recently found success, reporting that local commercial banks had won $1.79 billion to date, with their digital assets and other cryptocurrencies.
According to the Central Bank, they have told the local media,
“The amount of crypto-asset investment is not really big, compared with other equity markets, and local financial institutions’ exposure to possible risks of digital assets is insignificant. Against this backdrop, we expect crypto-assets to have a limited impact on the South Korean financial market.”
Right now, the crypto side to the holdings in these banks makes up 8% of their total equities, which amount to $23 billion. However, they still do not consider the crypto portion to be any kind of significance, despite the fact that they are the only bank to release these kinds of numbers. In fact, China has put up bans and other roadblocks to prevent their economy from supporting any crypto exchange.
Before the ban, billions were being traded as recently as December, with Upbit and BITHUMB pushing the ceiling at $1 billion in volumes each. That’s part of the reason that the government decided to crack down and intervene. There were some protests and complaints, but investors appeared to work around it with linking to bank accounts. However, ICOs are still not even a possibility with present regulations.
Technologically advanced countries, like South Korea, need to stay involved to keep pushing forward. In fact, Samsung recently joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, which means there is the potential for this online shopping company to accept the cryptocurrencies available.
Right now, local statistics suggest that about 13% to 20% of South Koreans hold cryptocurrency in some form. Though it seems a little rare for a banking institution to hold $2 billion, Germany holds cryptocurrency at six different banks.