South Korea’s second-largest bank Shinhan Bank has entered into a partnership with the country’s second-largest telecoms provider KT Corp for the purpose of developing a new blockchain-based platform.
The Korea Times reports that the new platform is intended to build on recent moves by regional governments across the country to introduce digital vouchers.
In July, CCN reported that KT Corp launched a commercial blockchain capable of handling 2,500 transactions per second, in the process becoming the first mobile carrier in the world to build such a platform. The network further announced that it planned to expand the transaction capacity to over 100,000 per second by the end of 2018.
Shinhan on its part will bring its considerable commercial banking experience to the table, with its 2017 assets totaling $302.6 billion.
The aforementioned government program permits digital vouchers to be spent like cash within certain locations. The partnership between Shinhan and KT comes ahead of the planned rollout of an economic stimulus program that includes the digital voucher scheme.
Shinhan will assume responsibility for developing the new platform’s financial services including payment fulfillment and account management, while KT will set up the underlying blockchain infrastructure that will underpin the system.
Giving his thoughts on the synergies between the two companies, Shinhan Bank’s Head of Digital Strategy Jang Hyeon-ki said:
“Shinhan’s strategic partnership with KT is a part of our efforts to introduce a convergence between finance and ICT. The blockchain technology will upgrade customers’ financial activities to a new level.”
South Korean Blockchain Lodestar
This is not Shinhan’s first foray into blockchain technology. Earlier in 2018, in accordance with its view of the blockchain as a core component of future banking systems, the bank’s Digital Strategy department created a dedicated research center for blockchain technology in a first for the South Korean banking industry.
CCN also reported in January 2018 that the bank became one of only a handful of South Korean banks to support cryptocurrency exchanges, to the relief of local traders.
The bank is also working to develop a blockchain-based integrated certification system for many financial activities including wire transfers and foreign exchange transactions.
Speaking about KT’s eagerness to work with Shinhan Bank on the new project, KT Platform Service director Kim Hak-joon said:
“The partnership with Shinhan Bank will be an opportunity to expand the boundaries of KT’s blockchain technology into the financial sector. KT will continue doing its best in contributing to the nation’s blockchain industry.”