Five South Korean banking giants have joined JP Morgan for their blockchain-based payments initiative, the Interbank Information Network (IIN).
The cross-border payments initiative operates on a ‘permissioned-variant’ of the Ethereum blockchain, dubbed, Quorum, and allows IIN members to transfer data in real-time as a means to confirm payments faster. Suresh Shetty, the Blockchain Technology Lead for IIN stated:
When a payment detail is flagged for confirmation, different parties can interact simultaneously, requesting and sharing information.
According to various news reports, Shinhan Bank, KEB Hana Bank, NongHyup Bank (NH), Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Woori Bank are the five new members of the Interbank Information Network initiative.
A few days back, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), the second-largest bank in Southeast Asia (in terms of total assets), became the first Singapore-based bank to partner up with JP Morgan’s blockchain payments network. Germany’s largest bank, the Deutsche Bank, has also joined the IIN chain.
Recently, all the five new South-Korean member banks have expressed eagerness to deal with cryptocurrency and blockchain-related business – with many of them showing a keen interest in commercializing blockchain services before 2020.
According to the Singapore Business Times, around 40% of the banks that have partnered up with JP Morgan for the IIN initiative since its pilot launch in 2017, are Asian; among which 80 are Japanese. The IIN network already has over 300 member banks and is expanding more.
The intent with IIN was always to develop a meaningful ecosystem of bank users, all focused on harnessing emerging technologies such as blockchain to better address the complex cross border payments industry,
John Hunter, global head of clearing at JP Morgan, stated.
The South Korean banks are enthusiastic about the concept of using blockchain technology to cut costs of transactions and to speed up the payment procedures.
JP Morgan is also testing a token intended to be launched in their Quorum platform, known as the JPM Coin.
Last month, Shinhan Bank became one of the first banks in South Korea to seal a deal with the Kakao Group’s (messaging app provider) blockchain subsidiary Ground X and the blockchain developer Hexlant, to create a
secret(private) key management system to be used within the Shinhan’s system.
The Korean exchange bank, Hana and Shinhan have also been very active in the blockchain-investment domain. The two banks have joined the likes of LG in a combined investment of $7.5 million in a South Korea based blo9ckchain startup, dubbed, Blocko.
The banking sector in South Korea is building up a wide range of blockchain investment opportunities, with banks like Woori and Shinhan. They have individually made noteworthy investments in the past few months.