Korean crypto exchanges make big money amid digital coin frenzy among young

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[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

Korean cryptocurrency exchanges are making millions of dollars every day as the craze of digital coins engulfs young investors and fans of meme culture chasing a jackpot.

The 24-hour trading volume on Upbit, a major crypto exchange in Korea, stood at $ 19.3 billion at 3:30 p.m. in Seoul on Tuesday, according to crypto market tracker CoinMarketCap. The trading volume equates to an estimated $ 8.6 million in revenue for Upbit on Tuesday alone, as cryptocurrency exchanges typically charge 0.05 percent per trade.

Market analysts predict that in the first three months, when daily sales hit 20 trillion won, Upbit had well over 2020 sales of 176.7 billion won (158 million US dollars).

Bithumb, another leading crypto exchange, has gotten hot.

The exchange recorded a 24-hour trading volume of $ 3.98 billion on Tuesday afternoon. It would have made 11 billion won with a fee of 0.04 percent.

According to the consolidated earnings report of Vidente Co., the main shareholder of the operator of the crypto trading platform, Bithumb Korea Co. had sales of 219.1 billion won last year. Sales increased by 51.4 percent compared to the previous year. Net income increased from 13.1 billion won to 127.5 billion won over the same period.

Dunamu Inc., Upbit operator, reported consolidated sales of 176.7 billion won for the full year 2020, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year. Net income was 47.7 billion won, a four-fold increase over the previous year. Dunamu also runs a platform for trading securities trading data, but makes the most money from the crypto exchanges.

Their bonanza is led by young investors in their twenties and thirties, who made up 63.5 percent of Korean investors who opened new accounts on the country’s four major stock exchanges – Bithumb, Upbit, Korbit, and CoinOne – in the first quarter.

Investors in their twenties had 88.1 billion won in deposits for crypto trading in the first quarter, an increase of 154.7 percent over the previous year. Those over 30 had 191.9 billion won ready, an increase of 126.7 percent over the previous year.

Even young Koreans under the age of 20 have entered the crypto market. They had 960 million won in crypto brokerage accounts, almost quadruple from last year.

By pulse

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