$112 Billion Korean Money Manager Asks for Goldman Sachs’ Crypto Experts
Originally published on: CCN
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September 06, 2018
Korea Post, South Korea’s national postal service operator which also oversees a $112 billion investment fund has sought Goldman Sachs’ assistance in learning about cryptocurrencies.
Korea Post will meet the executives from the Goldman Sachs’ crypto research group in Hong Kong this month, Bloomberg reported. The congregation would see an educated round up between the South Korean company with its American counterpart on the hot topics like digital assets, AI, and blockchain.
Kang Seong-ju, the President of the Korea Post, said in an interview that he discussed cryptocurrencies with David Solomon, Goldman’s new chief executive, in his recent visit to New York.
“I asked Goldman to pass on their know-how in the cryptocurrency area,” Kang said. “Since cryptocurrencies are considered to have potential, and are something many people are watching, we’ll need to learn the strengths and weaknesses.”
Potential Crypto Investments on the Cards?
While Kang has no plans of spreading their investment portfolio to cryptocurrencies, their research tour draws attention to the popularity of these decentralized assets among the mainstream financiers. Korea Post has already decorated its postal service portfolio recently with investments in infrastructure and real-estate assets abroad. In late August, the company had confirmed putting more money into the hedge fund managers – by 300 billion won to 1.6 trillion won by the end of 2019 – in hopes “for better returns.”
The company’s interim plans must not be about adding cryptocurrencies, but their baby steps towards learning about the assets’ potential itself hint at a possible integration. Goldman Sachs, one of the few Wall Street firms that offer regulated Bitcoin futures, also has plans to introduce cryptocurrency custody services to institutional investors like Korea Post.
However, no business arrangement between Goldman and Korea Post regarding a potential cryptocurrency custodianship could be confirmed.
The meeting also comes at a time when Goldman Sachs is reportedly tabling plans to introduce a cryptocurrency trading desk after initial plans of supporting bitcoin trades were revealed earlier in May.
South Korea a Tough Territory for Cryptocurrencies
The South Korean policymakers’ lackadaisical approach towards cryptocurrencies could have a role to play behind Korea Post’s cautious take on the matter. The company is run by the same government that has spoken against the use of virtual currencies in the past. For instance, South Korea’s prime minister believes cryptocurrencies could lead young people towards pyramid scams and drugs. The country’s justice minister went one step ahead by seeking a ban on cryptocurrency trading platforms.
Digital currency companies operating from the East Asian nation, however, could find some hopes in the government’s decision to regulate cryptocurrencies in cooperation with the G20 directive.
David Solomon image from Flickr/Fortune Conferences.
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