South Korea’s largest bank is gearing up to launch the country’s first digital asset investment fund as demand grows. Kookmin Bank (KB) confirmed that it’s working on the fund and would launch it as soon as regulations are in place to allow for such products.
On Monday, KB announced that it had formed the Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee as part of its plan to get into Bitcoin funds. This committee will determine the product and strategy capabilities most ideal for digital asset funds. It will also assess the risk that such products would pose to the bank and the compliance issues with having such products.
KB expects to launch a digital asset exchange traded fund (ETF) and futures products at a time when investors have flocked to such products in other countries. As more institutional investors get into digital assets, financial companies have been scrambling to launch targeted products in jurisdictions where existing laws permit.
In the U.S., futures ETFs have become quite popular. However, as CoinGeek reported, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still adamant against a spot ETF, with the latest being Grayscale’s application to convert its BTC Trust into a spot ETF.
“We will launch a virtual asset-themed equity fund, etc. We plan to publish periodicals as well,” Honggun Kim, the head of index quant management at the bank stated.
KB, which at $520 billion in assets under management is the biggest bank in South Korea, will launch the fund with an outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO), which it says will provide guarantees on principal investments.
While this would be the first product of its kind, KB has been backing digital assets for years now. It offers institutional digital asset custody through a partnership with Hashed, the first bank in Korea to do so, and launched its Multiasset Digital Wallet, which allows users to store digital assets and NFTs.
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