Korea's largest bank to launch the country's first crypto investment fund

Kookmin Bank, South Korea's largest bank by net assets, plans to launch crypto investment products targeted at retail investors, according to an announcement. 

The bank has formed a Digital Asset Management Committee with the aim to launch a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) and future products as soon as regulation in the country allows. 


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“We will launch a virtual asset-themed equity fund, etc., as soon as possible," says Hong-Gom Kim, head of Kookmin Bank's index quant management division. "We will also publish periodicals."

Along with developing a fund through its proposed virtual currency index, the bank is also looking at the possibility of a hybrid fund that includes crypto alongside traditional assets. This fund will be utilized by an outsourced chief investment officer to provide guarantees on its investments. It may also be used in retirement pensions. 

The move follows other Asian legacy banking institutions moving into crypto. Last week, Singapore's DBS Bank announced plans for a retail digital asset trading desk later this year. In January, the Philippines' Union Bank unveiled plans to offer cryptocurrency trading and custodial services. 

About Author

Tom is a deals reporter at The Block covering venture capital, fundraises, fintech and M&A. Before joining, he was an editorial intern at the FT-backed platform Sifted where he reported on neobanks, payment firms and blockchain startups. You can reach him by email at [email protected] or Telegram @tommatsuda.