Bithumb to Reopen Account Registrations After Renewing Contract With Nonghyup Bank

Avi Rosten

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb will reportedly be reopening new account registrations following a contract renewal with Nonghyup Bank.

First reported at 1:39 UTC this morning in the local Naver news, the reports explain that the Bithumb and the Seoul-based bank intend to relaunch the “real name virtual account issuance verification service as early as [August] 30th.”

The reopening of new account registration is the first time the exchange has allowed new virtual accounts since suspending the service on July 31st after it experienced a major hack in June which resulted in the loss of over $30m of user’s funds.

Under current legislation, banks in South Korea are allowed to provide accounts for crypto exchanges - but for KYC-AML purposes must monitor all the exchange’s accounts - ensuring that all virtual accounts for each user are paired with their verified identities.

Volume Spikes, But Several Days Ahead of Announcement

Although volume on the exchange did spike immediately following the announcement, it is by no means the first surge in the last few days - as data from CryptoCompare show:

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Interestingly, looking at CryptoCompare data for BTC-KRW (bitcoin - Korean Wong) market share - a clear decline can be seen in the weeks following the attack. With the exchange’s market share bouncing back substantially in the last few days, many will see this increased activity ahead of the announcement this morning as a possible pre-emption from investors in the know:

 

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With South Korean investors seemingly showing little signs of giving up on their appetite for crypto investments, this news, coupled with the decreasing “Kimchi Premium” for bitcoin - which was as high as 50% last December - will be encouraging to many in the Asian crypto industry.

Binance and OKEx Represented Approximately 75% of Top Tier Exchanges' Trading Volume in June

Two cryptocurrency exchanges represented three-quarters of the spot trading volume seen in June. The exchanges, OKEx and Binance, traded over $80 billion combined.

According to CryptoCompare’s June 2020 Exchange Review, Binance was the largest top tier cryptoassets exchange by volume in June, trading $41.8 billion throughout the month, 19.6% less than what it traded in May. It was followed by OKEx, which traded $40.6 billion in June, down 29% from May.

In third place came Coinbase, which traded $6.86 billion, down 38.5%. In total Binance and OKEx represented approximately 75% of the trading volume on the top 15 top tier exchanges.

er.pngSource: CryptoCompare

The same report found, as CryptoGlobe reported, that spot trading volumes plummeted throughout the month of June. Top tier cryptoassets exchanges saw their volumes “decreased drastically” to $177 billion, which means they traded 36% less than in May, while lower-tier exchanges traded $466 billion, 53% less than in May,

The highest recorded trading volume in a single day in June amongst top tier exchanges was of $9.26 billion.  In comparison, in March’s Exchange Review, the cryptoassets data provider revealed that the March 12-13 crypto market crash led to high in daily trading volumes, as $75.9 billion were traded across exchanges in a single day. Top-tier exchanges traded $21.6 billion that day.

Whether a cryptoasset exchange is lower-tier or top tier is determined by CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark. The trading volume drop affected both top and lower-tier platforms, as the crypto space’s spot volumes ended up representing “roughly half of the daily volumes seen in the previous month.”

OKEx and Binance Stand Out

OKEx and Binance were the two top tier cryptoassets trading platforms standing out, and they likely managed to do so because of Coinbase’s own downfalls and because of their diverse offerings to users.

Coinbase likely saw its trading volume dwindle over repeated outages it suffered during significant cryptocurrency price movements, while other users opposed Coinbase’s, and likely moved to other trading platforms.

Meanwhile, Binance and OKEx have solidified their offerings to users, allowing them to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings, and enriching their derivatives portfolios with various cryptoassets. As CryptoGlobe reported, OKEx has last month expanded its derivatives portfolio with ETH/USD options, with EOS/USD options planned for the near future.

 Both also offer discounts to their users if they use their tokens, Binance’s BNB, and OKEx’s OKB. Notably, OKEx’s OKB has significantly outperformed both BNB and bitcoin over the last 12 months.

graph.pngSource: CryptoCompare

Over the last 30 days, Binance’s cryptocurrency outperformed that of its rival bitcoin trading platform, as BNB dropped 6.1% over said period, while OKB dropped 9.9%. Bitcoin, in comparison, dropped 3.9%.

Featured image via Unsplash.