Since Tesla made an announcement in an SEC filing on Monday that the global electric vehicle (EV) maker not only bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin but also will accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicle purchases, bitcoin’s price jumped by more than 10 percent a few hours after the filing. Bitcoin continued to soar to its record-high level, at one point topping $47,000 on Tuesday.
With bitcoin solidifying its presence through acknowledgements by moguls like Elon Musk, more and more companies are expected to take a similar path as Tesla, having the crypto token be part of their diversified asset portfolios or using it in their business expansion models.
As more institutional or corporate entities attempt to purchase a massive amount of crypto assets, local financial firms ― probably one of the most traditional and conservative sectors in terms of corporate culture ― have been moving fast to gain a foothold in the cryptocurrency markets.
KB Bank was the first among local lenders that made an investment into a digital custody business that mainly deals with bitcoin purchases and deposits. KB Kookmin Bank and blockchain-focused crypto asset fund Hashed joined hands to establish Korea Digital Asset (KODA) late last year. KB Bank said it plans to expand its services beyond the current crypto deposit role.
Shinhan Bank invested in Korea Digital Asset Trust (KDAC), a cryptocurrency asset trust firm launched in 2020. KDAC and Shinhan said they will collaborate in various digital asset services, such as decentralized finance.