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Korea’s Fourth Largest Bank Tests Blockchain With Coinplug; Eyes Commercial Services

Coinplug, a bitcoin wallet service provider and infrastructure developer funded by billionaire investor Tim Draper in 2014, has partnered with South Korea’s fourth largest bank KB Kookmin to test its blockchain infrastructure’s cross-border payment efficiency.

In December 2015, KB Kookmin and Coinplug established a memorandum of understanding (MOU), to form an official partnership and relationship in the investigation and implementation of the blockchain technology.

The KB Kookmin financial services department was particularly appealed by the flexibility and functionality Coinplug’s blockchain infrastructure to allow both international and domestic settlement of transactions without surpassing the SWIFT network.

SWIFT, which stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, makes cross-border payments substantially more expensive than autonomous settlement systems like blockchain due to its requirement of manual confirmation of transactions.

Upon the signing of MOU, KB Kookmin agreed to test the blockchain technology’s potential in the mainstream financial market and provide commercial services through the development of innovative business models.

KB Koomin representative stated, “through the MOU, KB Kookmin will offer faster and more secure international payments. The bank will focus on meeting the demands of our consumers by utilizing the blockchain technology.”

Earlier this month, KB Kookmin executive Yoon Jongkyu and Coinplug managing director Eo Jooseon officially announced that the two organizations successfully tested a proof-of-concept (POC) blockchain-based international transaction settlement service.

Both executives stated that it is first case of successful blockchain testing in South Korea, and KB Kookmin will most likely strategize various methods of utilizing the POC blockchain infrastructure commercially.

KB Kookmin executive emphasized that its pilot test will be used to lead the Asian blockchain market by providing a platform for other banks and financial institutions.

In response, Coinplug’s Eo wrote, “Coinplug will collaborate with KB Kookmin in making an advancement in the blockchain and financial markets of South Korea. The implementation and growth of the blockchain technology will rapidly increase in the near future and we will provide relevant commercial applications to match the pace of the industry.

Apart from its blockchain services, Coinplug is also the only startup in South Korea to provide unique bitcoin trading methods to local consumers. For instance, the startup recently introduced a service called ATM Wire, which allows local users to purchase or sell bitcoin at tens of thousands of convenience stores around the country.

Over the next few months, Coinplug will set their focus on its collaboration with KB Kookmin and providing useful applications of bitcoin to its Korean userbase.

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