South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges are back in top 20 based on a global ranking. Bithumb even reclaimed the top spot recently. Level of expectations on Bithumb has grown as it announced its plan to enter foreign markets and as it has benefited from outside factors that are favorable to Bithumb.
According to Coinhills, which is a cryptocurrency exchange ranking site, Bithumb has taken the top spot with 434,803 Bitcoins (BTC). Percentage of its exchange volume 17.23% and it is very apart from that of BitMEX (9.26%), which is in second place. Bithumb has surpassed global exchanges such as OKEx (131,105 BTC, 5.19%), Binance (123,517 BTC, 4.89%), Huobi (82,570 BTC, 3.27%), and Coinbene (40,089 BTC, 1.62%).
In May, Bithumb was placed tenth (1.73%) as its exchange volume was low due to massive operation of ‘honey-comb accounts’ by small and medium exchanges during their initial establishments.
Nevertheless, it was recently acquired by BK Medical Group, established Bithumb DEX in Hong Kong, and is looking to enter U.S. market. It recently made partnership with an American FinTech company called ‘SeriesOne’ to establish a securities-type token exchange in the U.S. next year.
“Level of expectations on us becoming a global exchange is growing as we announce our plans to enter foreign markets.” said a representative for Bithumb. “Announcing our plans to enter 10 different countries after being acquired by BK Medical Group has positively affected our exchange volume.”
Other South Korean exchanges were also placed in top 20. Coinbit (2.86%) and UPbit (1.30%) jumped to the 10th and 18th spot respectively. Coinzest (1.01%) was placed in the 20th spot. Coinbit also made partnership with a cryptocurrency-based FinTech company called ‘NEXO’ and a global exchange called ‘Hybrid Block’.
Hardfork of BitcoinCash that took place in the middle of this month has been a positive factor. BitcoinCash, which was separated during hardfork process of Bitcoin by Bitmain, has fast transaction speed and really low fee. There is a high chance that another cryptocurrency will be separated during hardfork process in November. As a result, level of expectations towards airdrop of this new cryptocurrency has heightened. Actually, this new cryptocurrency was the only one out of cryptocurrencies with market capitalization of more than $88.9 million (100 billion KRW) that has shown price increase.
Comments by government representatives on ICO (Initial Coin Offering) and cryptocurrency exchange have also acted as positive factors. Chairman Choi Jong-koo of Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced during an inspection of government offices that took place last month that there would be no problem with exchanges receiving new accounts if they have user authentication and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) devices. When Chairman Lee Hye-hoon of The Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution suggested ‘change to ICO regulations’, relevant industries took it as a sign that South Korean Government is beginning to change its stance on ICO and cryptocurrency.
However, because Chairman Choi’s comment had a premise that exchanges would have to convince commercial banks, some suggested that relevant industries cannot just wait for South Korean Government to change its stance forever. “Although associations are looking at Chairman Choi’s comment positively, his comment actually has a premise.” said a representative for a commercial bank. “It is difficult for banks to take preemptive measures when there are no clear-cut regulations.”
Staff Reporter Ham, Jihyun | firstname.lastname@example.org