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Sales of cryptocurrency operators soar eightyfold: data

SEJONG -- Sales of local cryptocurrency exchange operators are presumed to have soared more than eightyfold in 2017 compared with a year earlier, data showed Sunday.

According to the data released by Rep. Park Kwang-on of the ruling Democratic Party, accumulated commission-related sales of some 30 cryptocurrency exchange operators are presumed to have reached 700 billion won ($648 million) as of the end of last year, compared with an estimated amount of 8 billion won as of the end of 2016.


South Korea is scrambling to rein in the virtual currency frenzy that has hit Asia's fourth-largest economy since the second half of last year, including preparations for a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges at home.

Cryptocurrency exchange Upbit was the No. 1 operator in South Korea with a market share of 52.9 percent, followed by Bithumb, Korbit and Coinone.

Upbit is presumed to have collected 194.3 billion won in commission sales last year, the data showed. Estimated sales of Bithumb, Korbit and Coinone -- which were released earlier -- reached 317.7 billion won, 67 billion won and 78.1 billion won, respectively.

The data, which was collected with the help of the government, was estimated based on sales of commissions and the local price of bitcoin released by each operator. (Yonhap)