South Korean banks have been providing virtual account services to cryptocurrency exchanges and earning commissions from them. According to data obtained by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, banks made 36 times more in commission income from crypto exchanges last year than the previous year.
Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations
Banks Earned 36x More From Crypto Accounts
The Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has obtained data from banks relating to their virtual account services to crypto exchanges. It includes data from the six banks inspected by the regulators last week: Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Korea Development Bank, and Industrial Bank of Korea.
The agency revealed on Thursday that the total commission income banks earned from these services last year was 2.221 billion won (~USD$2.1 million), which is 36 times more than the 61 million won earned the previous year, Yonhap reported.
Upbit’s Bank Tops the List
Banks make money from cryptocurrency exchanges by charging them approximately 200 to 300 won per customer deposit, the news outlet detailed, adding that crypto traders pay higher commissions to the exchanges when withdrawing funds.
According to the FSS, the Industrial Bank of Korea earned the most from virtual account services last year. The bank provides these services to Upbit, which has recently become the world’s largest exchange by volume. Upbit is backed by Kakao Corp, the operator of South Korea’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk. The bank “earned a total of 675 million won by setting a virtual account fee of 300 won per deposit,” the publication conveyed.
The bank with the second highest commission income from crypto-related services is Nonghyup Bank which provides virtual account services to Bithumb and Coinone. The bank earned 654 million won from these services last year.
Shinhan Bank provides virtual account services to a few crypto exchanges including Bithumb and Korbit, bringing it 621 million won last year. Kookmin Bank made 155 million won, the Korea Development Bank made 61 million won, and Woori Bank earned 59 million won from crypto exchanges last year.
Currently, the South Korean government has mandated banks to stop issuing new virtual accounts until they have installed the new a real-name identification system. Banks will also be required to check the purpose of trading and the source of funds for each crypto account holder.
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