The South Korean cryptocurrency market has shown remarkable resilience and growth, reaching a market value of US$32.4 billion. This significant increase is the result of growing interest in digital assets, with emphasis on Bitcoin which, after fluctuating in March to a high of US$73,600, faced a temporary drop, now returning to a value of US$66,000.

This momentum was captured in a study carried out by the South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU), linked to the Financial Services Commission. The report indicates robust growth in the commercial activity of the main licensed exchanges in the country, including Upbit and Bithumb, which together saw a 53% rise in market capitalization in the second half of 2023, representing an increase of approximately US$11.2 billion .

“Trading volume, market capitalization, operating profit of exchanges and Korean won deposits increased compared to the first half of the year due to rising cryptocurrency prices and recovering investor sentiment. The number of crypto trading users has recovered since the first half of 2023,” reports KoFIU.

During the last six months of 2023, daily trading volume reached the mark of 3.6 trillion won ($2.6 billion), which represents a 24% increase compared to the previous period. The study also showed a 44% reduction in the volume of currency trading, which are transactions between different types of cryptocurrencies without the need for conversion to fiat currencies such as the dollar or the Korean won.

In addition to advances in terms of volume and market capitalization, South Korean exchanges have seen substantial growth in the number of users. By the end of 2023, the number of active users of registered platforms increased by 390,000, reaching a total of 6.45 million. This increase, representing more than 10% of the country’s population, was mainly driven by individual investors interested in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins, with a marked predominance of individuals between 30 and 40 years old.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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