South Korean digital bank KakaoBank announced on Tuesday at its quarterly business performance conference it is reviewing a partnership with a local cryptocurrency exchange.

See related article: South Korean banks seek green light on crypto

Fast facts

  • “As [crypto] is considered a major asset amongst customers, we are reviewing how we can provide virtual assets in services or in the form of a business in a favorable light,” said Yun Ho-young, CEO of KakaoBank.
  • As per local regulations, cryptocurrency exchanges require banking partners to provide real-name deposit and withdrawal accounts in order to offer cash-to-crypto services to comply with anti-money laundering norms.
  • Local reports suggest Kakao is exploring a partnership with Coinone, which the digital bank has denied.
  • KakaoBank’s competing neobank K Bank achieved its first annual surplus in 2021 and tripled its number of users since 2020, after it partnered the nation’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Upbit.
  • KakaoBank is South Korea’s largest digital bank with 18 million customers.
  • The bank reported its highest ever operating income at 88.4 billion KRW (US$70.14 million) in Q1 2022, a 63.8% year-over-year growth.  

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