A woman stares at a giant electronic signboard displaying the trading information of different virtual currencies at a cryptocurrency exchange in Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s crypto assets market has grown to 55.2 trillion won ($45.9 billion) as of end-2021, with the number of users amounting to nearly 5.58 million, according to a recent study by the nation’s top financial regulator on Tuesday.
The Financial Service Commission conducted the study, a first of its kind, based on data compiled from a total of 24 licensed crypto currency exchange operators here.
Daily transactions through the 24 exchanges reached 11.3 trillion won on average, while their operating profits exceeded 3.4 trillion won combined.
Korean-won denominated cryptocurrency operators accounted for some 95 percent of the entire transactions. There are currently four crypto operators that deal with won-denominated currency by partnering with local banks to issue real-name accounts for its customers: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit.
Of the combined 3.37 trillion won operating profit posted by the 24 crypto operators for the first nine months of 2021, 99.3 percent came from won-denominated currency operators, while 0.7 percent came from coin exchanges. But the FSC said that among the 24, nine coin exchanges posted an operating loss in the cited period.
The average rate for miner’s fee, or crypto transaction rate, came to 0.17 percent, noticeably high compared with the average stock transaction rate at the Korea Exchange, which stands at 0.0027 percent.
Of the 15.25 million people who have accounts at the crypto currency exchanges, the actual number of people who participate in trading came to 5.58 million.
Males in their 30s made up the largest portion or 21.7 percent of the investors, followed by males in their 40s (17.6 percent) and 20s (17.4 percent). Female investors in their 30s and 40s made up 9.5 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Some 56 percent of the users or 3.1 million investors each owned virtual assets below 1 million won, while those with over 10 million won came to 820,000, accounting for 15 percent.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org