South Korea’s Kookmin Bank announced on February 21st, that it has formed a Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee which will look into creating a cryptocurrency ETF for retail investors.
The committee will operate under the bank’s KB Asset Management’s Index Quant Management Division.
The lender also aims to launch a digital asset equity fund, according to Hong-gon Kim, head of KB Asset Management’s Index Quant Management Division.
“We will launch a virtual asset-themed stock fund, etc., as soon as possible. We will also publish periodicals.”
The Committee will initially conduct research into both domestic and foreign digital asset markets. It will also work on the development of an AI-based investment strategy for digital asset product launches.
KB intends to launch the new products as soon as possible, considering the speed of adoption across the world, but has to ensure its products comply with relevant regulations.
KB said in its statement that its global competitors had already plunged into the virtual asset markets and it intends to follow suit.
Rising adoption in traditional finance
Kookmin Bank is the second Asian financial institution in as many weeks to announce such a move. Last week, Singapore’s DBS Bank said it intends to offer retail investors the ability to trade digital assets by the end of 2022.
The Singaporean lender has been a trailblazer in the Asian financial markets when it comes to digital asset adoption. The bank launched a boutique exchange as a pilot in 2021 to allow credit institutions to trade in cryptos.
However, Asian markets are lagging behind their western counterparts. Wallstreet banks have begun offering their wealthiest clients the ability to invest in crypto, while some of the largest asset managers in the world are offering their clients the option to invest in digital asset funds.
France-based Amundi, which is Europe’s largest asset manager, recently announced that it will invest in NFTs. Accounting giant KPMG Canada has also invested in crypto assets.
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