Despite the fluctuation in the global cryptocurrency market, South Korean banks are reporting a staggering increase in transaction fees.
The second quarter of 2021 was big for banks in South Korea in terms of cryptocurrency transaction fees. According to a local report from The Korean Herald, three banks who have existing partnerships with cryptocurrency exchanges made around $14.71 million from cryptocurrency transaction fees alone in Q2. The figure crushes the previous quarter’s total of $6 million. The three banks, K Bank, NH Nonghyup Bank, and Shinhan Bank provide real-name accounts for crypto exchanges Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.
The figures quoted were collected by Rep. Yun Chang-hyun of the People Power Party and represent a massive uptick after reporting around $6 million in Q1. This, despite Bitcoin falling in price from April until late June, the report adds.
Bank fee revenue rising
When broken down bank by bank, K bank came out ahead with around $10.41 million in fees via its partnership with South Korean exchange Upbit. K bank reported around $4.5 million in fees from January to the end of March. K bank was Korea’s first internet-only bank and turned its first net profit during Q2 for the first time since launching four years ago.
Second in revenue from crypto-fees was NH Nonghyup, which has partnerships with both Bithumb and Coinone exchanges. Combined, the exchanges brought a combined $2.69 million in Q2 compared with around $1.5 million during the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Shinhan Bank reported fees of around $300,000. While far less than its competitors, Shinhan grew substantially from Q1 when it reported less than half of that.
Speaking with the Korean Herald, Rep. Yun said that “compared to the beginning of the year, the number of accounts has increased five-fold and the balance of deposits has quadrupled, and the coin craze has not yet ended, with Bitcoin prices recently surging again.”
The report goes on to state that numbers show a massive spike in deposits in real-name accounts used in crypto trading. At the end of 2020, the total invested in such accounts totaled nearly $1.5 billion. At the end of March 2021, that number rose to more than $5 billion. And, by the end of June, $6 billion was invested in real-name crypto accounts. Naturally, the number of accounts associated with cryptocurrency trading also rose from around 1.3 million in December of 2020 to nearly 7 million at the beginning of July.
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