South Korea Is Crazy About Crypto: Why Koreans DOMINATE Ethereum Trading & Local Crypto Community Keeps Growing!

in #kr3 years ago (edited)

When cryptocurrencies first emerged, most people trading it were either from the US or Europe.

That has changed dramatically in recent years, and especially in 2017 when Japan and South Korea stepped into the crypto trading world.
Just a few months ago, Japan was all over the news for making Bitcoin legal - and in return, hundreds of thousands of Japanese merchants and retailers started to accept the digital currency as regular payment method.

South Korea on the other hand has a special relationship with Ethereum.

Out of the 5 biggest Ethereum Exchange platforms, 3 are Korean - which means that over 40% of all Ethereum traffic can be accounted to Koreans.
When you consider that the other global top 10 exchanges are using major currencies like Dollar, Yuan or Bitcoin, the trade pair Ethereum/Korean Won could actually be the most concentrated per capita.
And that although the Won is only used by 50 million people in the world!
In June, the Korean "Ethereum Fever" even drove the ETH price to a 30% premium on Korean exchanges.

“People are crazed over it. Grandpas and grandmas come to our office lobby and say they want to put half a billion won ($447,000). We ask them how they heard about us, and they say, ‘I heard about you through a friend who invested a couple thousand and made a killing, and I want to do it too’ ... but they have no idea how to use the app or email.”

-Steve Lim, CSO of CoinOne


What are the reasons for Korea's sudden crypto-craze?

While no one can really answer this question for sure, there are a few possibilities.

The first reason is that children of the Korean upper class have discovered the potential profits of cryptocurrency trading.

These are mostly millenials, and being children of wealthy Korean business owners, they are investing and trading with their parents' money.
When you look at average Ethereum trades in the US, they range from $100 to maybe $10.000 per trade.
But in Korea, $100.000 steps are no rarity!

Another one is that other local investment options have decreased.

Real Estate and the domestic stock market have always been a safe option to invest in South Korea, but both have lost stability and popularity in recent times. Even gambling, which is the favorite activity of many Asian risk-takers, has become illegal.
Then, these risk-takers turned to cryptocurrencies due to the high volatility.
The market first started getting interested in Bitcoin, suddenly pouring in millions of Korean Won (KRW), and then turned to Ethereum a little later.

“They looked into other assets with high volatility and Bitcoin was the perfect one. So high-risk traders put their money into the Korean Bitcoin market and it went up like crazy. Once people saw that, they just poured their money in.”

-Lee Seung-gun, president of the Korea Fintech Association and CEO of Viva Republica


But why especially Ethereum ?

Steve Lim from CoinOne speculates that Koreans were too late to join the Bitcoin craze in 2012, so they just watched.
But when Ethereum launched in 2015 and showed immense gains this year, they were eager to get on board.
CoinOne was the first open Ethereum exchange platform in Korea, offering direct exchange between Won and ETH without having to go through other cryptocurrencies. This added to the local trend of wanting to invest in Ethereum.
Another beneficial factor is that Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's founder, met personally with many Korean cryptocurrency enthusiasts, namely putting a face to the investment and strengthening the business relationships to Koreans.

“During the Ethereum boom, lots of Koreans bought it and luckily made a lot of money. That was a period when Ethereum jumped 300% in a couple days. The range of choice is narrow, so Ethereum was only coin that was moving. Influence of mass media was also great.”

-Steve Lim, CSO of CoinOne


What's next for Korea and its Ethereum-hype?

Right now, there are no signs of the Ethereum-craze to end.
Even on Steemit, we have seen an immense growth in Korean users, easily noticeable by the "kr" tag at the top of the trending page.
While the Korean premiums may not be as extreme as a few months ago, the interest in trading still hasn't gone down.

When looking at the Top 24 Hour Volume Rankings from all exchanges worldwide, Korean platform Bithumb is clearly at the top of the list - in front of Bittrex, Bitfinex, Poloniex and Kraken!

It comes to no surprise that the most popular trading pair is ETH/KRW (Korean Won), with a trading volume of $162.633.000 in 24 hours - over 52% of ETH trades!

What do you think about the sudden Korean Ethereum/Cryptocurrency Craze? And for all Korean Steemians, how do you experience the shift towards cryptocurrency in everyday life?

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I am fairly new to cryptocurrency so I can't say much about South Korea's Ethereum/Bitcoin craze But as a part of Steemit's KR community I think the fast growth of KR is because of those Koreans keep trying to find new way to integrate cryptocurrency into their everyday life.
For example, auction has become very popular recently (I don't know how it exactly works though) and a user @jungs even made a website called Steem market. I think it is a good way to use the system and benefit the users. Many KR users are now using it.
Also, delegation of Steem dollar to newbies has become quite popular too. Some KR whales who hold high volume of steem dollars delegated SD to users who write quality posts and bring creativity and new ideas to KR community.
I mean, these are just few examples of what KR community do with Steemit. How they work together and build system based on trust is quite remarkable.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
Yes, the korean steemit community is very active which is awesome. It's great to see how you are supporting each other!
Steem Market seems like an awesome concept, I hadn't heard of it before!

Sizeable amount of market cap, it worries me that honestly ETH could crash based on a possible war with north Korea. Pure madness when you think about all of the possibles that could happen and what alter values in crypto currency.

Hmm, yes you're right. If anything happens with North Korea it will definitely have an effect on the ETH markets since Koreans are responsible for over 50% of the volume. We'll see! Let's cross our fingers everything goes well.

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im newbies in cryptocurrency , thank you so much for this helpful post

You're welcome, glad you enjoyed my post!

Great post my friend

yea, it seems korea, china, and japan are all over crypto. it's crazy how fast they're integrating crypto into their system and some proposing laws for and against it in different countries. btw, it's korean won not "wong". sorry i'm obsessed with typos. especially when it's not mine. 😁

Yes, they saw an opportunity and they jumped right into it!
And thanks for pointing that out, I corrected it!

other than EOS do you think Ethereum holds weight for anything else? Nice post 100

Thank you.
I can't really give a statement about the long-term future of Ethereum.
For now it's still an important part of the crypto world, let alone for smart contract and all of the ICO's, but I can't promise how it will develop in the future. Many people are saying it might be risky in many years to come. I guess we just have to wait and see

I have noticed a lot of koreans on steem it. It must be a cultural revolution among the populace. I wonder how the rumblings of war will treat the crypto community.

Yes, that's a good question.
When I started on Steemit just over a year ago, there were hardly any koreans - I believe the 2nd biggest community after the US was actually from Germany!

I heard japanese are now after dogecoin and that might increase dogecoin's price much later is it true?

Very interesting, I hadn't heard of this before but I'll definitely look into it!

great!! if you find the information authentic please make a post on it, i'll be looking forward to it! :)

Great posting! Now S.Korea began to level off after rising for several months of cryptocurrency race because of government restriction of blocking new accounts for withdraw. But seems like Koreans still believe there will be another jump in near future. Quite interesting market movement. I will follow you. Thanks again.

Interesting post! As one of Korean in to cryptocurrency market, I agree with your view. That's why there are a lot of Korean steemit users here as you can tell :) upvoted and followed u! we are ciceron, released steemit translation service beta to breakdown language barrier among global steemians and help them to be voted regardless of their languages. hope to broaden among steemit users using this small tool.

Cryptocurrency rules in South Korea is often a topic of concern – According to the recent report, South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges are announcing new self- regulatory rules and will have self-inspection as well.

Read news here:

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as far as i know crypto just get widely known in countries like Korea. Can't wait to acquire more news in crypto in this country.

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