South Korea OK Financial Group — one of the nation’s largest pawnbrokers and savings banking providers — has unveiled plans to create a cryptoasset. The company will be part of a growing cohort of companies hoping to launch tokens, which seems to indicate that the days of the nationwide initial coin offering (ICO) ban may be numbered.
The ban was put in place in 2017 and forced people like Kakao and Hyundai Group companies to launch coins through their subsidiaries abroad. President Yoon Seok-yul, however, has indicated that he is ready to lift the ban.
OK Financial Group could also choose to launch its coin abroad, if the legislation overturning the ban is not rolled out in time. The company said its coin will be ready by the end of this year, Seoul Kyungjae reported.
The outlet reported that the company will issue the coin through its OK Investment Partners (OKIP), and will mark a “first” for the so-called “secondary” financial industry. The company has invited blockchain companies to submit partnership proposals, and it will hear offers from companies willing to develop what it will name the OK Coin.
The company could be followed in the ICO and crypto market by dozens of other domestic financial industry players, some of whom are planning their own moves. The media pointed to the example of the banking giant Wooriwho had hoped to release his own play before shelved plans when the ban was imposed.
Nonetheless, the outlet added that rival savings banks and “other group companies in the secondary financial sector” have become “nervous” due to OK’s “rapid entry” into the crypto sphere and ” explore business opportunities” accordingly.
The Bloodstained Savings Bank added “blockchain-based crypto-asset trading and brokerage business” and “non-fungible token (NFT) production and brokerage/sales” to its list of business avenues at its last AGM. shareholders. And the Japanese financial giant SBI Groupwhich operates several South Korean subsidiaries (including a savings bank) also seems increasingly interested in the sector. Pepper Savings Bankanother OK rival, has also named a senior blockchain industry executive to its leadership team.
Additionally, the outlet added, OK Financial Group has “jumped into the NFT market.”
The OKIP project will also see the company “directly issue NFTs”. The OK Financial Group also operates a professional volleyball team, which earlier this year became the first professional club to release a range of NFTs. Its first range was distributed free of charge.
OK Financial Group was recently placed on the regulatory front Fair Trade Commissionfrom the FTC’s Business Watch List. The list includes companies that may need to be classified as conglomerates. As stated earlier, dunamu – the operator of the Up bit crypto exchange – this year became the first South Korean crypto company to be classified as a conglomerate under FTC rules.
Such classification is somewhat of a double-edged sword. The FTC and other financial regulators subject conglomerates to much stricter regulation than ordinary businesses. But among members of the public, conglomerate classification can be a positive thing, boosting brand image and increasing trust levels.
The total asset value of OK Financial Group, according to 2021 figures, was $4.1 billion. It has a total of 15 subsidiaries and is the country’s largest private money-lending company, the Korea Times reported in May.
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