South Korea’s Crypto Volumes Peak in 2024 as Upbit and Bithumb Dominate Local Market
In the last 100 days, South Korea’s crypto trading activity has experienced a significant upswing. The country’s leading crypto exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, recorded their highest trading volumes in the initial week of January 2024. Despite the noticeable premium on South Korea’s crypto assets, the most popular traded coins in this region differ from the leading pairs found on global platforms such as Binance and Coinbase. This report offers a detailed examination of South Korea’s top crypto pairs, as ranked by their trading volumes.
Unique Top Tokens Define South Korea’s Crypto Scene
As of Jan. 15, 2024, the leading five cryptocurrencies on Binance, based on trading volume, are BTC, ETH, SOL, XAI, and TIA. Concurrently, Coinbase’s top five tokens by volume include BTC, ETH, SOL, OP, and TIA.
Binance and Coinbase stand as the world’s largest crypto exchanges in terms of 24-hour trading volume. However, in South Korea, Upbit and Bithumb dominate the local market. Notably, Upbit holds a significant share of the country’s aggregate crypto trading volume.
Although the top five digital currencies traded on Binance and Coinbase show considerable similarity, ethereum classic (ETC) emerges as the top coin on Upbit. ETC enjoys immense popularity in South Korea, with cryptocompare.com data revealing that 68.96% of its trades are conducted in Korean won.
This Ethereum fork also ranks as the fifth most traded by volume on Bithumb and holds the sixth position on Coinone. Furthermore, ethereum classic (ETC) is currently trading at a 4.65% premium on Upbit, while BTC is marked at a 4.40% premium on the same exchange, relative to average and weighted global exchange rates.
At Upbit, the top five cryptocurrencies by trading volume are ETC, BTC, T, SUI, and SOL. Meanwhile, Bithumb’s premier crypto assets include BTC, SOL, ETH, XRP, and ETC. Coinone’s leading five are BTC, XRP, WEMIX, ETH, and SOL. Notably, 80% of threshold network token (T) transactions are in Korean won, while 23.85% of SUI trades and 29.40% of all XRP swaps involve won settlements.
80.18% of WEMIX’s market trades are settled in won as well. These exchanges, along with Korbit, contributed to 2.8% of global ETH swaps and 6.93% of all BTC swaps over the last day. Data indicates that trading volumes on Upbit and Bithumb began escalating towards the end of September 2023, culminating in their peak during the first week of January. The daily trade volumes in January on both exchanges have exceeded any records set in 2023.
Over the last six months, South Korea’s digital currency trading market has seen remarkable growth, with record-breaking trading volumes on its regional exchanges. This trend is often seen as a positive sign for the future of crypto adoption in the country, as traders diversify their portfolios beyond the usual leading pairs found on international platforms.
What do you think about the rising volumes in South Korea and the difference in top coins compared to other international trading platforms? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.