South Koreans Return to Crypto Retail Investment, Shows Survey

Despite the lower share of Korean Won trading, researchers reveal that in fact, crypto investment has increased for Korean retail buyers.

South Korean retail cryptocurrency investors are still extremely active and increased their holdings in 2018, shows a survey of the Korean Investors Protection Foundation, cited by Arirang News. On average, respondents in the survey held about $6,000 in cryptocurrency, although some age groups were more active.

Investors in the 50-year-old group had more than $11,000 in crypto holdings, and most investors increased their holdings in 2018. There are still skeptics, who are avoiding any investment in digital assets, the survey shows.

South Korean regulators have been careful about risky investments, as retail investors have been hurt in the past by schemes unrelated to digital assets. In the past year, the bear market led to reports of dramatic personal losses. South Korea also banned local token sales, but even this move failed to discourage investors.

Based on Coinlib data, around $20 million’s equivalent flows into the Bitcoin (BTC) markets each day. The amount is relatively small compared to Tether (USDT) inflows.

The Bithumb exchange, the most popular regional market, saw volumes above $880 million in the past 24 hours. Korean trading supports a different mix of assets, where Dash (DASH) is the most active coin. More than 58% of Bithumb activity is centered around DASH, which trades at around $127, with a slight premium over other exchanges. But DASH activity has been excluded from the general reporting, as being anomalous and skewed by the Korean markets.

However, Korean trading is not helping boost BTC prices as it did in December 2017. Back then, Korean won prices for BTC reached the equivalent of above $20,000, and most assets traded with a “kimchi premium”. Now, the premium has shrunk to almost nothing, and some assets like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) have lost the hype and dramatic spikes based on activity in South Korea.

Despite the preserved retail interest, South Korea also saw the closing of several markets, including one of the largest operators, CoinNest.

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