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KB Kookmin gives peek at blockchain strategy

Oct 08,2019
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KB Kookmin Bank CEO Hur Yin delivers an opening speech at a conference on ethereum in Yeouido, western Seoul, on Friday. [PARK SANG-HYUK]
KB Kookmin Bank offered a glimpse into how it will deploy blockchain technology at a conference dubbed the Enterprise Ethereum and Revolution in Banking Summit on Friday. The event was jointly hosted by the bank and Seoul Ethereum Meetup.

In an opening speech, Hur Yin, CEO of KB Kookmin Bank, acknowledged the potential that blockchain will bring to the banking sector.

“The purpose of the financial service is to deliver valuable offerings to clients,” said Hur, “I believe that the financial sector will be able to provide innovative services through blockchain.”

Lee Woo-yeol, chief information officer for the bank, emphasized the need to embrace new technologies at a quicker pace.

“The paradigm is shifting in finance,” Lee said. “In the past, [companies] were able to catch up with new technologies, but that won’t be the case in the future unless they are prepared for them.”

The bank also detailed how KB Kookmin transformed its IT infrastructure into a cloud-based system. Lee also introduced KB’s ongoing experiment in enabling technology to take the lead in providing financial services.

“There are a lot of cases in which people or companies bring great ideas and technologies to cooperate with KB, so we opened a branch run by tech experts from the bank so that they could put into practice or try out a certain technology right on site,” Lee said.

As for the uses of blockchain, the bank is keen on incorporating the decentralized ledger system to combat money laundering, verification services, custodial services and security token offerings.

“We see blockchain as a big wave that will disrupt finance in the future.” Lee continued, “We need to be ready for the moment when different types of assets turn into tokens, although we don’t know when that will be.”

The value chain of the blockchain industry, he added, lies in the issuance of digital tokens, funding, custodial services and trading.

Lee reiterated that KB is geared up to cooperate with other companies in initiating blockchain projects.

“KB pursues cooperation and coexistence,” he said, “So, we are testing different services with other corporations, including the development of an application programming interface for the saving of digital assets.”

KB Kookmin Bank started a partnership with Atomrigs Lab to work on developing a system designed to store digital assets in June.

BY PARK SANG-HYUK [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]