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South Korea’s Crypto Market Cap Nearly Doubles in First Half of 2023, Surpasses $21 Billion

The virtual asset arena in South Korea has seen a marked growth in the first half of 2023, boasting a total valuation of $21.1 billion.

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) shared insights indicating a 46% hike in the country’s cryptocurrency market cap in comparison to the prior six-month period, as cited by local news sources.

Parallelly, the global cryptocurrency market experienced notable expansion during this timeframe. Its total valuation soared by 53%, touching an impressive 154 trillion won. This surge coincided with Bitcoin’s price jumping a hefty 81%, settling at $30,441 by June, a significant rise from its value at the previous year’s close.

South Korea’s Crypto Marketplace Operators Report 82% Increase in Profits

South Korea’s digital asset market landscape has not only witnessed growth in market cap but also a commendable 82% increase in the operational profits of its virtual marketplace operators, accumulating to $168 million in the first six months of the year.

Moreover, funds held within these cryptocurrency trading platforms saw an uptick of 11%, culminating at a value close to $3 billion.

The comprehensive report from the FSC, which took into account data from 35 digital asset entities in South Korea, including 26 cryptocurrency exchanges, shed light on several intriguing patterns.

While the broader crypto market demonstrated expansion, the average daily transaction volume across the 26 exchanges experienced a minor decline. The value decreased by 1.3%, settling at $2.1 billion for the first half of 2023 when juxtaposed with the latter half of the previous year.

Another observation from the report highlighted a reduction in the number of individual and corporate crypto participants by 210,000, bringing the total to 6.06 million by June’s end. Delving deeper into demographics, the majority of these individual traders were found to be in their 30s. Furthermore, a significant 67% of them held digital assets with a valuation below 500,000 won.

662 Types of Cryptocurrencies Traded on Korean Exchanges

The analysis also highlighted that, during the first six months of 2023, South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchanges traded 622 different digital currencies, including well-known names like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Dogecoin.

In this span, 169 fresh cryptocurrencies made their debut on the listing, whereas trading for 115 coins was halted. These suspensions were attributed to various factors, such as associated project risks and measures aimed at investor safety.

As the South Korean digital currency landscape continues its dynamic progression, the country is gearing up to introduce new regulatory measures by July of the coming year, primarily focusing on safeguarding cryptocurrency investors.

This impending regulation empowers the government to clamp down on inequitable trading behaviors, endorsing penalties that can range from monetary fines to incarceration. The law specifically targets malpractices such as undisclosed information utilization, market value manipulation, and unauthorized transactions.

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I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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