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South Korean Won Dominates Global Cryptocurrency Trading, Surpassing USD

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South Korean Won Tops Global Crypto Trading, Overthrowing Usd 


Trading in cryptocurrencies has seen the South Korean won outpace the U.S. dollar as the primary currency globally.

A study from the analytics firm Kaiko highlights that during the first quarter of 2024, transactions executed with the Korean won on centralized digital asset exchanges amounted to $456 billion. These figures narrowly surpass the $445 billion traded with the U.S. dollar in the corresponding timeframe.

This trading shift can be traced back to fierce rivalry among South Korean exchanges. Smaller entities like Bithumb and Korbit are adopting no-fee trading initiatives to attract market share away from the dominant Upbit, which boasts more than an 80% share of spot trading volume.

Analysis by Bloomberg indicates a preference among South Korean investors for alternative, speculative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, over mainstay options like Bitcoin and Ether, with these altcoins making up over 80% of domestic trading activity.

Cryptocurrency has also become a pivotal issue in South Korean politics. During recent parliamentary elections, the topic of crypto regulation was front and center, with political aspirants advocating for deferring taxes on virtual assets and loosening constraints on U.S. Bitcoin ETF investments to win over the youth vote.

In the aftermath of the TerraUSD stablecoin’s $40 billion crash, partly attributable to Do Kwon, South Korean regulators have communicated their intention to impose stricter regulations aimed at bolstering investor safeguards, anticipated to come into effect come July. Despite these regulatory developments, the nation’s engagement with cryptocurrencies remains robust. Notably, major exchange has revealed intentions to initiate services tailored to retail investors within the South Korean market.

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