A man walks past a sign resembling a South Korean flag in Seoul
South Korea has a bustling hi-tech ecosystemReuters

KB Kookmin Bank, ranked as one of the four biggest commercial banks by assets in South Korea, is "developing a new foreign-exchange business model based on blockchains" using technology from Bitcoin services provider Coinplug.

KB bank said in a statement it had signed a Memorandom of Understanding with Coinplug, which has a number of patents pending related to blockchain technology.

Judging from the release, the MoU is targeting payments and overseas remittance payments; there was no mention of Bitcoin the currency but it said there are possibilities for doing know your customer (KYC) using a "public blockchain network".

The statement said: "KB Kookmin Bank is on joint development with Coinplug for the efficient overseas remittance, based on blockchain technology to offer customers safer and faster foreign exchange services and this would be the first case in Asia.

"Also, KB Kookmin Bank announced on 12 February that they are planning to develop overseas fund transfer and data storage service for the verification of the online bank account opening service based on distributed ledger technology of public blockchain network."

Coinplug closed a $5m (£3m, €4m) Series B funding round in October 2015 to bring its total funding raised to date to $8.3m, as reported by Coindesk. The report also said the South Korean Bitcoin services provider was planning to present a global remittance platform for major banks in the country.

'Reinforce data restoration and integrity'

The release also talked up data integrity and storage capabilities of blockchains, in respect of the Financial Service Committee, which recently changed its stance on real-name verification of individuals from face-to-face verification to online verification to promote online financial services and encourage financial start-ups.

"To prevent counterfeit and forfeit of online banking accounts, the regulation forces to use multifactor certification and to store the result of certification secure. The distributed ledger system could reinforce data restoration and integrity," it said.

In addition, Bank of Korea, South Korea's central bank, recently reported that "blockchain technology can disrupt central bank and further reorganise financial infrastructure and intermediaries".

A representative of KB Kookmin Bank said: "The blockchain technology is a new trend and we are trying to adopt this technology in a low level of data integrity platform. We are planning to escalate our services further to provide more secure and comfortable financial services for our customers."

IBTimes UK reached out to KB Kookmin Bank for more detail on the plans.