Bitcoin falls after hitting all-time high, widens gap with global exchanges

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, fell on Sunday after hitting a new record high over the weekend. The price difference between domestic and overseas exchanges, known as the kimchi premium, increased by up to 10 percent, indicating a heated investor atmosphere.

Bitcoin prices were around 73.50 million won ($ 65,056) on the local exchanges Upbit and Bithumb in the early afternoon, falling from a new record high of 75.30 million won the previous day.

This is comparable to other international exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance, which at the same time had a price of around 58,000 US dollars.

This means that Bitcoin is trading at more than 10 percent of the premium, indicating higher demand from domestic investors.

Kimchi premium rose more than 50 percent once in 2017 when bitcoin prices took a rollercoaster ride in their first boom, falling to zero percent within a month.

The trading volume of cryptocurrencies on 14 local exchanges on Friday was well above that of the stock markets.

The 24-hour trading volume created by CoinMarketCap at 4:00 p.m. on Friday showed that the four largest domestic exchanges – Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit – were trading digital coins worth 22 trillion won, an increase of 15 trillion won corresponds to April 14th. The average daily trading volume at Kospi was 15.13 trillion won in March, compared to the daily trading volume in February of 19.95 trillion won.

The rally in the cryptocurrency market is due to increased interest from younger investors, who make up an estimated 60 percent of all investors in the cryptocurrency market. Market watchers say investors in their twenties and thirties are the ones who are frustrated with the local real estate market and want to take advantage of the extremely volatile market.

In addition to big coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, some smaller coins, also called altcoins, shot up over the weekend.

Several altcoins, including Medibloc, Maro, and Dogecoin, jumped up to 50 percent in a day.

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)

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