South Koreans Bite Into The Bitcoin Mania


December in the crypto sphere witnessed a fiery spectacle: South Korea’s Bitcoin Premium Index, a thermometer of buying power in the kimchi nation, soared to levels reminiscent of November 2021’s peak. This sudden heatwave has analysts sweating, unsure whether it’s the precursor to a bull stampede or a prelude to a spicy correction.

The Bitcoin ‘Kimchi Premium’ – Korean FOMO Excitement

Market sentinel CryptoQuant points to an intriguing trend: “overheating Korean premium.” This phenomenon, they whisper, could be the harbinger of price tops, fueled by a potent cocktail of Korean cash sloshing towards digital shores and a dash of FOMO-induced excitement.

The Korean premium is overheating.

“The Korea Premium Index is often used to identify price tops because Koreans 1) have immediate access to cash to buy coins on exchanges, and 2) have a high FOMO hype.”
by @Signal_Quant

Link 👇

— (@cryptoquant_com) December 26, 2023

As of now, Bitcoin simmers a little past the $42,000 level, and nursing from a 1.33% scar in the past 24 hours. But in Korea, the story is different. The Premium Index sizzles with positivity, revealing retail investors’ willingness to pay a premium for their Bitcoin fix. This rising trend suggests a kimchi-fueled hunger for higher prices.

BTC price action in the last 24-hours. Source: Coingecko

This “Kimchi Premium,” the price gap between Korean and global exchanges, is no stranger to the crypto scene. Think of it as Bitcoin wearing a fiery gochujang robe, offered at a premium by Korean traders eager to savor the digital delicacy.

Upbit, the Korean exchange kingpin, saw Bitcoin sizzling as its third most-traded asset in the past day, with the BTC/KRW pair accounting for a mouthwatering 7% of total volume. Bithumb, another kimchi aficionado, witnessed an even hotter serving, with the pair heated to 48% of total trade.

Bitcoin slightly below the $43K level today. Chart:

Korea’s Crypto Craze: Tech, Openness, Caution

Why the Korean fervor? Legal Bitcoin ownership, a tech-savvy populace with a penchant for digital thrills, and perhaps a dash of the national gambling spirit seem to be the secret ingredients. This open-mindedness has transformed Korea into a fertile ground for crypto adoption, where Bitcoin reigns supreme on the digital menu.

But amidst the kimchi-scented euphoria, caution is advised. The Premium Index, like a fickle K-drama plot, can change direction in a heartbeat. A sudden drop in Korean buying power or a global market correction could send the premium plummeting, leaving investors with heartburn instead of profits.

Cryptocurrency trading has found a home in South Korea. The country’s government has decriminalized Bitcoin ownership and trading on regulated exchanges. One possible explanation for the country’s early acceptance of digital currencies and its general openness to new ideas is its fascination with technology and gaming.

The Korean Bitcoin scene is a spectacle indeed, offering a glimpse into the future of global crypto adoption. Whether it’s a prelude to a bull stampede or a spicy correction remains to be seen. But one thing’s certain: the Korean market is adding a distinct flavor to the global crypto scene, and it’s one worth savoring, with a cautious eye on the price tag.

Featured image from Shutterstock


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