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Last year, Korea was one of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies. However, volumes have gradually dropped off since the beginning of 2018.
Now, in October, the Korean won is beginning to make a comeback in the crypto space — with BTC/KRW volumes increasing significantly over the past week.
Widely regarded as one of the major drivers of the bull spike seen in 2017, Korean investment gradually began to fade in early 2018 as the cryptocurrency industry encountered significant turbulence — eventually leading to most cryptocurrencies losing upwards of 60 percent of their value.
The Korean Won (KRW) has gained significant ground on both(USDT) and the Japanese Yen (JPY) between October 8 and 28. This sudden change marks a huge increase over the previous months, which saw KRW contribute only a minor fraction of the total trading volume.
Interestingly, though the volume has massively increased over the past week, the value of BTC in Korea has not —decreasing instead from 7,418,050 KRW ($6485) to around 7,125,993 KRW ($6229) over the same period.
Unlike in 2017, there does not appear to be any major so-called “Kimchi premium,” which saw the price of BTC in Korea at times reach more than 40 percent higher than in the United States. The reasons behind the gap likely stemmed from the differences in high-yield opportunities in the country, but quickly evaporated once the market turned sour.
The rationale behind the increased Korean interest is unclear but may be caused by investors moving away from more traditional investment options. The DOW Jones recently tumbled more than 200 points while remained relatively stable throughout October.
Interest from Japanese investors declined over the same period, likely due to the multiple exchange hacks that saw a combined total of over $550 million stolen from two Japanese exchanges. However, the recent news may see the tides turn in Japan, with The Financial Services Agency (FSA) recently approving the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) and granting self-regulatory status to the country’s cryptocurrency industry.
What do you think caused the recent increase in Korean interest? Does it have any links to the reduction in Japanese volume? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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