South Korean Crypto Traders Emerge as Major Force in BTC Rally


South Korea has long been recognized for its robust blockchain and crypto community.

Crypto traders in South Korea have recently emerged as key players, wielding considerable influence during the latest Bitcoin (BTC) rally that has seen the digital currency surge by more than 50%, according to reports.

The Rise of the South Korean Won Over the Dollar

Recent data compiled by CCData shows that the South Korean won surpassed the US dollar to become the largest fiat trading pair in the crypto market. According to the data, the won accounted for 42.8% of fiat trading activity against Bitcoin, surpassing the dollar for the first time.

Specifically, the won’s dominance in fiat trading activity against Bitcoin increased by approximately 17% from September to November, reaching around 41%. Meanwhile, the dollar’s share in this trading activity experienced an 11% decrease, settling at around 40%. This shift signifies the growing influence of South Korean crypto traders in the global market, especially amid the recent surge in Bitcoin prices.

Moreover, analysts from the South Korea-founded blockchain data platform CryptoQuant reveal that South Korean traders are particularly responsible for the escalating trading volume of altcoins. This highlights the nation’s role in driving market dynamics beyond the major cryptocurrencies.

Notably, despite suffering from a network vulnerability in October, platforms such as Upbit have played a critical role in fueling the spike in trading activity on centralized exchanges in South Korea.

Furthermore, the increase in trading activity aligns with a broader uptick in overall trading volume observed throughout October and November. This surge coincides with a sense of optimism surrounding the potential approval of US Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to hold digital assets.

The Crypto Ecosystem in South Korea

South Korea has long been recognized for its robust blockchain and crypto community. The nation has produced notable figures and pioneers in the crypto space, such as Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs.

Kwon’s TerraUSD project, although ambitious, faced challenges that led to its collapse in May 2022. This incident had a notable impact on the Korean crypto community, causing a temporary setback. However, the resilience of South Korea’s crypto enthusiasts has proven crucial in maintaining the nation’s status as a crypto hub.

While the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies faces increasing scrutiny in the United States, South Korea is viewed by many crypto firms as a land of opportunities. The regulatory pushback in the US has prompted some companies to explore more welcoming jurisdictions, and South Korea’s crypto-friendly ecosystem positions it as an attractive alternative.

Meanwhile, an earlier joint statement issued by the Bank of Korea and some of the country’s financial regulators highlights the country’s plans to begin conducting a pilot program to investigate the technical infrastructure required for the launch of a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

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