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  • South Korea demonstrates a sharp growth of trading activity on the P2P platform.
  • Speculative interest and tight regulatory conditions may explain the anomaly.

The citizens of South Korea have been trading cryptocurrency actively via popular P2P platform LocalBitcoins. According to CoinDance statistics, the transaction volumes have increased sharply in the recent two weeks.  

Notably, LocalBitcoins platform is usually popular in countries with high inflation or dire economic conditions like Venezuela, Argentina, or Turkey. Meanwhile, South Korea is not in that camp. The country has a developed economy with a low level of inflation.  

While the reasons behind the growth are not entirely clear, some experts believe that the trading volumes are supported by speculative interest caused by the sharp price recovery.  

Also, LocalBitcoins popularity may be partially explained by tighter regulatory conditions as the government seeks to crack down on the cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities. Thus, the South Korean exchange Coinnest ceased to exist in April 2019, while at the end of 2018, trading platform Zeniex was forced to stop operations.  

Meanwhile, the South Korean Won (KRW) is the third popular fiat currency tradable against Bitcoin, right after the US Dollar and Japanese Yen.

Earlier, we reported that a research company Bitwise excluded South Korean exchanges from its study devoted to fake transaction volumes.