Dongbu Group Enters Bitcoin Remittance Market

Announcements, Blockchain, FinTech, Investing, News, Regulation | August 28, 2017 By:

South Korean conglomerate Dongbu Group has teamed with bitcoin remittance service provider Sentbe via its subsidiary Dongbu Savings Bank in its bid to enter the bitcoin remittance market.

Dongbu Group is a large global conglomerate in South Korea. The group produces industry, chemical, shipping, insurance, and financial products. One of its many subsidiaries, founded in 1972, is Dongbu Savings Bank, a member of the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI). Through WSBI, the bank collaborates with many financial institutions around the world, including Sweden’s Swedbank, Fra-Spa of Germany, Philippine Postal Savings Bank, the Indonesia National Housing Bank, the Sri Lanka National Savings Bank and the Thai Government Savings Bank.

South Korean firm Sentbe was the recipient of a FinTech award in 2016 for its foreign remittance service utilizing bitcoin. Through the service, customers can send money to China, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines at a fee that is up to 95 percent lower than those charged by traditional banks.

Dongbu Savings Bank said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sentbe. An official from the bank said that they have been working on this business alliance to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution era under the traditional savings bank business.

The South Korean government has amended the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act in order to legalize bitcoin remittances. The amended law took effect on July 18. The new law legalizes bitcoin foreign exchange transfers for small sums. FinTech firms wanting to provide such services must register with the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), and meet certain financial requirements. A paid-in capital of over 2 billion won, roughly $1.77 million, and a debt-to-equity ratio of below 200%, are examples of such requirements. There is a limit of $3,000 for each transfer and an annual limit of $20,000.