Seoul-headquartered Shinhan Bank (KRX: 055550, NYSE: SHG) is about to launch a new service based on the Bitcoin blockchain for people who need to send remittances between Korea and China. The new Shinhan Bank remittance service is powered by Streami, a blockchain remittance middleware and infra developer for financial service providers.
Shinhan Bank is one of the biggest in Korea and the most important financial institution in the world to adopt a Bitcoin-based remittance service to date. It has total assets of $260 billion, total deposits of $192 billion and loans of $184 billion, as of June 30, 2016.
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Last year Streami reportedly raised $2 million in seed funding and Shinhan Bank was a major backer of the round, contributing ₩500 million ($427,000). Streami’s founder Junhaeng Lee reportedly said at the time that the startup’s competitors will be traditional remittance providers, including those operating illegally, which are “estimated to take up significant Korea-outbound remittances market share.”
The remittance service will be available for use in the Korea/China market, via a Hong Kong intermediary bank, starting December 2016. It is expected to expand to more countries around the world in the near future, as soon as early 2017.