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Bitcoin is shining brightly in South Korea as the price per BTC in the region has reached upwards of $3500-3800 across the country’s top three exchanges. Many traders are finding significant arbitrage opportunities due to South Korean spreads being over $1000 higher than the global average.
South Korean Bitcoin Trade Volume Is Surging
Bitcoin is very popular in South Korea at the moment. According to statistics, the country’s top three exchanges Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone are exploding with bitcoin volume over the past few months. The trading platforms are processing roughly $200 million USD worth of Korean Won-KRW/BTC trades daily, and lately, most of these trades have been well above the global average. Alongside this, the South Korean Localbitcoins volumes and spreads have been off the charts as well.
Fintech Friendly Authorities
The region has also been blossoming with startups dedicated to bitcoin remittance and financial tech advancement. The South Korean government has been very friendly towards digital currencies, and the country is steadily becoming a technology hub. Just recently the government lowered the equity capital requirement for bitcoin companies working with remittances. The new statutes will begin on June 18 with a reduction of required capital to 1 billion KRW in contrast to the prior requirement of 2 billion KRW.
Additionally, researchers from the South Korean central bank recently released a report that detailed that virtual currencies like bitcoin can “coexist with fiat.”
“The recent emergence of digital currency opens up a new type of dual currency regime in which digital currency, which has no intrinsic value and a government-issued fiat currency coexist,” explained the researchers from Seoul’s Hongik University and members of the Bank of Korea’s (BOK) report.
Korea’s Growing Bitcoin Community and Very Large Remittance Market
Besides the central bank’s and government’s friendly attitude the bitcoin community in South Korea is thriving. For instance, the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup group has over 1,200 members and has over ten upcoming meetings scheduled. This past March the group discussed the differences between soft and hard forks. South Korea is also home to three bitcoin automated teller machines (ATM) as well.
South Korea is fertile ground for cryptocurrency use with the country’s remittance market capturing billions every year. Korean remittances have undoubtedly bolstered bitcoin as startups like Korbit has pushed crypto-settlement forward. Financial incumbents like Shinhan Bank are also looking at bitcoin’s benefits towards the large remittance market in Korea.
When it Comes to Bitcoin Korea is One Country to Watch
With all the feverish demand for cryptocurrency solutions and financial technology, Korea has positioned itself as one of the top five leading countries in bitcoin trade volume. It’s safe to say that when it comes to bitcoin adoption, Korea will be one to watch with its population of over 50 million, a multi-billion dollar remittance industry, and a government that bolsters fintech.
What do you think about Bitcoin growth exploding in South Korea? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinmarketcap.com, Seoul Bitcoin Meetup, Crypto Compare, and Bitcoin.com.
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