Cryptocurrency Craze in South Korea

Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

Cryptocurrency in South Korea and the trading of cryptocurrency is a lot more sophisticated than in other countries.  If you are looking for reasons why cryptocurrency prices have been so volatile look no further than South Korea.  Nearly 20% of all cryptocurrency trading happens in South Korea.  This 20 % is not just comprised of institutions but your average Korean citizen.  Most go to exchanges like BitThumb, Korbit, or Coinone.  There are even trading locations that make trading easier than ever with customer service desks where you can buy and sell cryptocurrency.  You can sit on a couch and watch prices on a big board and access ATMs to liquidate your digital currency for cash.

The Rise and Fall of Cryptocurrencies in South Korea

South Koreans are also flocking to trading apps.  This is a powerful trend in a country where smartphone ownership rates are some of the highest in the world.  It is one reason demand and prices have a huge premium in South Korea.  Some premiums went as high as 40%.  This gave global cryptocurrency traders a chance to arbitrage.   A lot of people made millions by taking advantage of the price difference.  But with the boom comes uncertainties such as regulations and rumors of trading bans.  South Korean regulators are grappling with ways to forge a coherent regulatory policy.  This means that for traders it has been one headache after another.  There have been reports of accounts actually being frozen.

South Korean Government Stepping In.

The South Korean government has begun taxing bitcoin profits and requiring more disclosure of account identities to keep underage kids and potential money launderers from trading.  This is a kind of balancing act between encouraging innovation and making sure today’s crypto traders are not doing anything illegal.

The crypto surge is not a US lead phenomenon.  South Korea is a really good example of this.  Most cryptocurrency investors got into it in 2013 or 2014 and they are more focused on the blockchain technology that could potentially one day change commerce.  However, time will only tell if that long-term technology catches up

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, Head of Operations Korea at EOS Asia and the Global Marketing Director for Email = if you are interested in guest contributing and helping the Korean startup ecosystem. Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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