Korean Won Overtakes Dollar as Top Currency for Cryptocurrency Transactions

Korean won and cryptocurrency have a close relationship.
Korean won and cryptocurrency have a close relationship.

A recent study has found that the South Korean won has surpassed the U.S. dollar as the most widely used currency in global cryptocurrency trading.

On April 16 (local time), Bloomberg News reported that the volume of cryptocurrency transactions conducted in Korean won on exchanges amounted to US$456 billion in the first quarter of this year, surpassing the volume of transactions in U.S. dollars, which stood at US$445 billion, citing research firm Kaiko.

Following the Korean won and the U.S. dollar, the euro stood at US$59 billion, the Turkish lira at US$50 billion, and the Japanese yen at US$42 billion in terms of cryptocurrency trading volume.

The surge in the volume of won-denominated transactions in cryptocurrency trading is attributed to a fee war among domestic exchanges. Recently, exchanges such as Bithumb and Korbit have been promoting zero-fee campaigns to attract customers, aiming particularly at Upbit’s clientele, which accounts for 80 percent of spot trading volume.

Furthermore, in South Korea, there is a relatively higher preference for high-risk small-cap cryptocurrencies with greater volatility over large-cap cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, considered to be a major player, or Ethereum, ranked second in market capitalization. Bloomberg reported that the trading volume of such small-cap cryptocurrencies accounts for 80 percent of the total cryptocurrency trading volume in South Korea.

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