South Korea’s crypto market tops $45B, study finds

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TL; DR Breakdown

  • South Korea crypto market have surpassed $45 billion in value.
  • The average daily transaction volume from 24 local exchanges sum to 11.4 trillion won.
  • Government take part in the promotion of the South Korean crypto market.

South Korea’s cryptocurrency market continues to grow at an astonishing pace, with the total value of all digital assets in the country now estimated at over W55 trillion (US$45.9 billion) at the end of 2021.

The Financial Service Commission conducted the research by pulling data from 24 cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country. The average daily transaction volume from the 24 cryptocurrency exchange summed to 11.4 trillion ($9.5 billion), generating these exchanges about 3.4 trillion ($2.8 billion) in profit, per the research.

About 99.3 percent of the profit was generated by the four licensed won-denominated crypto operators, Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, while 0.3 percent resulted from coin exchanges in the country. This isn’t surprising given that the won-denominated exchanges accounted for 95 percent of the entire transactions in 2021.

Of all the 5.58 million people who traded crypto last year, about 3.1 million owned less than 1 million won ($834), while 820,000 investors owned over 10 million won ($8,340) in digital assets.

The main drivers of this growth have been the strong performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have both seen their prices more than triple over the past year. This has drawn in a large number of retail investors, who are now accounting for a significant proportion of all crypto transactions.

Government impact on South Korean crypto market

The rapid expansion of the South Korean crypto market has prompted the government to take action, with regulators recently announcing plans to introduce new rules to crack down on illegal activities. These include a ban on anonymous cryptocurrency trading, as well as measures to improve the regulation of initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Despite these measures, the government still supports blockchain technology and is keen to see the country become a global leader in this area. This is reflected in the recent launch of the Korea Blockchain Industry Promotion Association, which aims to promote and develop the local blockchain industry. The blockchain industry expenditure in South Korea is expected to reach $3 billion in 2025

The strong growth of the South Korean crypto market shows no signs of slowing down and is likely to continue into the future. This presents a significant opportunity for investors looking to gain exposure to this exciting new asset class.

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