Over the past few months, South Korea has become one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency hubs. Local exchanges generate billions in volume every single day, divided among the top and smaller cryptocurrencies. Even though the government is looking to curb cryptocurrency trading, the general population is not too bothered. A new study shows that close to two million South Koreans use cryptocurrency apps right now.
THE FUTURE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY IN SOUTH KOREA
A lot of things have changed ever since South Korea became a force to be reckoned with in the cryptocurrency world. Not only have the country’s exchanges generated a lot of volume in the past few months, but the general public started paying attention to this new form of money. One could argue the momentum created in South Korea eventually hit the rest of the world through the butterfly effect. The year 2017 was excellent for most cryptocurrencies, and this surge did not go by unnoticed.
To be more specific, the South Korean population has shown some great affection for Bitcoin and the top altcoins. Without these people, exchanges such as Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, and CoinOne would never have become household names in the global cryptocurrency community. At the same time, the prices paid on these exchanges are so far above the global average, all listing sites have decided to exclude South Korean prices until further notice. This was a somewhat controversial decision, but it was only to be expected.
Additionally, the South Korean government has started to crack down on anonymous cryptocurrency trading. Right now, all platforms must verify the identity of every single user, regardless of how much money he or she is willing to spend on cryptocurrency. Such measures will not deter the general public from trading crypto, though. In fact, citizens and local law firms are resisting this measure and are attempting to launch a petition to reverse this “harsh” regulatory approach. Whether or not they will be successful remains to be determined.
Considering all of these woes, one would expect the South Korean cryptocurrency industry to become less popular. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yonhap News Agency notes that recent data shows nearly 2 million South Korean citizens had used cryptocurrency-related applications in the past week. Do keep in mind we are talking about mobile apps here, and the numbers don’t include those who use cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms through a regular internet browser.
With 1.96 million users relying on such cryptocurrency applications, the industry is far from dead. In fact, just three months ago, around 140,000 people used such apps. This further confirms that interest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and other cryptocurrencies will continue to grow in South Korea. Even with the government introducing some new regulatory measures, the country’s population isn’t too worried about the future. It will be interesting to see if this situation remains the same in the future.
A regulatory rumor currently going around in South Korea is also worth keeping in mind. Some sources claim the Ministry of Justice wants to ban users from trading cryptocurrencies at home. That decision would not go over well, even though nothing has been set in stone as of yet. Governments like to cause fear and panic among the masses when it comes to cryptocurrencies, even though none of their decisions have any long-lasting impact on the industry. China attempted to cripple Bitcoin and other currencies last year and the market thrived because of it.