South Koreans have been increasing using peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange LocalBitcoins to trade bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, as available data shows trading volumes on the exchange recently hit a new all-time high in South Korea.
According to Coin.Dance data, bitcoin trading volumes have been surging over the last few weeks in the country, and recently hit a record high of 218.6 million South Korean won (about $182,000).
LocalBitcoins is a popular Helsinki-based peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, that allows users to trade BTC directly without going to exchanges. It’s significant in countries like Venezuela and Argentina, where fiat currencies have lost most of their value.
As covered, data from a survey conducted in December of 2018 has shown that South Koreans who’ve bought cryptocurrencies invested an average of $6,000 in the ecosystem, with those in their 50s investing an average of $11,000. Out of 2,500 polled adults, 7.4% revealed they owned “some cryptocurrency,” a figure 1% higher than in December of 2017.
Trading volumes on the P2P cryptocurrency exchange started surging in the country over a month after it was revealed officials were considering reviewing the country’s restrictive cryptocurrency regulations, in a move that could see South Korea re-evaluate its policies to ensure it supports the industry’s growth.
Notably, in mid-April a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange called Coinnest shutdown, as a result of last year’s bear market. One of the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb, has been hacked in the past – and recovered some of the lost funds - and recently made headlines for losing $180 million in last year’s bear market. These developments may be scaring off traders.
LocalBitcoins itself has also made headlines this month, as it stopped offering its services in Iran, presumably due to pressure from U.S.-led sanctions, that also pressured other cryptocurrency exchanges into withdrawing from the country.