Altcoins, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency

Still no signs from the ‘Kimchi Premium’ in South Korea

Bitcoin (BTC) has been skyrocketing worldwide this past couple of days, but in one part of the world, crypto fever is not yet reaching its mark – or at least not to the degree that it did three years ago.

That country is South Korea. Where 2017’s crypto bubble arguably towered, amid reports of teenagers consuming their pocket money on altcoins and elderly folks buying BTC with their pension payouts.

The frenzied bitcoin buying of late 2017 resulted in a phenomenon known as the ‘kimchi premium’. This is when the locals were paying way over the global average to buy tokens on domestic trading platforms.

While BTC has been scaling further, record-breaking heights on most exchanges, the kimchi premium has given no signs of return yet, with many 2017 price records still intact in South Korea.

Janet Cho, a Seoul-based IT journalist mentioned that,

“The mood here is still very depressed and many people seem baffled by reports from elsewhere in the world that investors are looking at bitcoin as some sort of hedge. For many people in this country, recent government regulations that will restrict the way [cryptoassets] can be traded, as well as new taxes, make bitcoin seem like a very shaky and uncertain investment.”

And Cho acknowledged that it was a case of “once bitten, twice shy” for many crypto investors, with comparatively low demand driving relatively low crypto prices in South Korea after the premium was actually turned on its head last year.

She added,

“Last time people went all-in on crypto, they got bitten hard by a government crackdown and a price slump. With a financial crisis looming due to the coronavirus pandemic, it looks like only dyed-in-the-wool crypto converts are buying tokens now.”

According to the Hans Kyungjae report, several listed firms with links to a crypto-related business encountering price increases in line with crypto prices. The media outlet reported that Woori Technology Investment, an investor in Dunamu, the administrator of the Upbit crypto exchange, had seen a price rise of almost 10% on Friday. LCD and semiconductor firm Wizit, which holds a stake in Upbit rival Bithumb, also saw a share price rise of over 14%.

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