“South Korea’s largest crypto exchange experiences a significant decline in Bitcoin and Ether trading volumes, signaling a potential shift in investor sentiment amidst regulatory concerns and emerging investment opportunities.”
A recent report has shown that altcoin trading is thriving in the South Korean cryptocurrency market, while major coins like Bitcoin and Ether have experienced a decline in trading activity. According to a survey conducted by the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, it is estimated that there will be around six million South Korean investors by the first half of 2023, accounting for 10 percent of the country’s population.
Interestingly, most of these investors prefer using centralized exchanges (CEXes) for their trading activities, which explains the popularity of CEXes over decentralized exchanges. South Korea is home to four major cryptocurrency exchanges, with Upbit being the largest player, commanding an 80 percent market share. In contrast, Korbit’s market share is less than one percent.
Despite the global decline in trading volume on centralized exchanges since March, South Korean major exchanges have managed to bounce back. In July, total trading on these exchanges reached a staggering $37 billion, surpassing the trading volume on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. This growth can be attributed to the court ruling in Ripple’s favor in its case against the US Securities and Exchange Commission, as XRP is particularly popular among younger South Korean crypto traders.
The report also highlights that altcoins make up a significant portion of the South Korean investor’s portfolio. Bitcoin, Ether, and Polygon, which dominate the global crypto market, have recorded low trading volumes on Upbit. The report suggests that the majority of individual investors on Upbit are drawn to altcoins with high profit potential, despite the associated risks.
As the South Korean cryptocurrency market continues to thrive, it will be interesting to see how altcoin trading and the preference for centralized exchanges evolve in the coming months.