South Korea’s Kookmin Bank announced on Feb. 21 that it has formed a Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee that will study the creation of a cryptocurrency ETF for retail investors.
The committee will operate under the bank’s KB Asset Management Index Quantity Management Division.
The lender also aims to launch a digital asset equity fund, according to Hong-gon Kim, head of the Index Quantification Management Division at KB Asset Management.
“We will launch a virtual asset themed stock fund, etc., as soon as possible. We will also publish newspapers.”
The Committee will initially conduct an investigation into both domestic and foreign digital asset markets. He will also work on developing an AI-based investment strategy for digital asset product launches.
KB intends to release the new products as soon as possible, considering the speed of adoption around the world, but must ensure that its products comply with relevant regulations.
KB said in its statement that its global competitors had already dived into virtual asset markets and intends to do the same.
Increased 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 pioneer in 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 crypto.
However, Asian markets are lagging behind their Western counterparts. Wallstreet banks have started offering their wealthiest clients the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies, while some of the world’s largest asset managers offer their clients the option to invest in digital asset funds.
Grayscale currently has more than $43 billion in digital assets under management. Fidelity Asset Management recently launched a Bitcoin ETF and mutual fund in Canada.
France-based Amundi, which is the largest asset manager in Europe, recently announced that it will invest in NFTs. Accounting giant KPMG Canada has also invested in crypto assets.
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