Korean Crypto Markets Experience Surge in Trade Volume, Hitting 2-Year High

Korean Crypto Markets Experience Surge in Trade Volume, Hitting 2-Year High

In the first quarter of 2024, Korean cryptocurrency markets achieved their highest trade volumes in over two years, with the Korean Won (KRW) surpassing the US Dollar (USD) in cumulative trade volume. This surge is attributed to an improved macroeconomic environment and increased competition among local exchanges, as detailed by blockchain analytics firm Kaiko.

Historically dominant, Upbit has maintained an average market share of 82% over the past three years. However, recent market developments have spurred competition, particularly with Bithumb and Korbit introducing zero-fee trading campaigns towards the end of 2023. While Korbit’s market share has remained relatively stagnant at about 1%, Bithumb saw its market share triple following the zero-fee policy initiated in October 2023.

Despite the initial success in boosting trade volumes, Bithumb faced a significant revenue drop of 60% in 2023, leading to the termination of its zero-fee campaign early in February 2024, just five months after its launch.

The recent downturn in KRW volumes in early April does not overshadow the potential uplift in market sentiment across the Asia-Pacific region, following the approval of spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong. This development could further energize the Asian crypto market, marking a significant milestone for regional investors.

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