Five of South Korea’s biggest banks have joined JPMorgan’s cross-border, blockchain-powered payments initiative, the Interbank Information Network (IIN). The network operates on Quorum, a platform based on the Ethereum blockchain.
According to an Fn News report, KEB Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, NongHyup Bank (NH) and the Korea Development Bank (KDB) have all signed up to the IIN.
All five banks have shown an eagerness to deal with blockchain and cryptocurrency-related business in recent times – with many of the group claiming they will commercialize blockchain services before 2019 is out.
Elsewhere in Asia, Singaporean bank OCBC also announced it was joining the JPMorgan network on Friday last week – becoming the first bank in the country to join.
Per Singapore’s Business Times, some 40% of the banks that have joined the IIN initiative since it was launched last year are Asian, of which 80 are Japanese.
The South Korean banks are thought to be keen on the idea of using blockchain technology to cut costs, as well as speeding up payments and transactions.
JPMorgan is currently testing a token – the JPM Coin – which it intends to deploy on its Quorum platform.
Last month, Shinhan became one of the first banks in the country to sign a deal with the Kakao Group’s blockchain subsidiary Ground X. The bank is hoping to create a blockchain-powered security network.
KEB Hana and Shinhan have also been exceptionally active in the area of blockchain investment – with the two banks joining the likes of LG in a combined USD 7.5 million investment in domestic blockchain startup Blocko last month.
Banks in South Korea are building up large blockchain portfolios, with the likes of Woori and Shinhan making sizeable investments within the past few months.