Crypto giants flocking to South Korea
The behemoths of the cryptocurrency market are expanding their global presence, despite the on-going bear market, which has now lasted several months. Projects like Ethereum, Solana and Polygon have formed investment funds to bet on companies around the world whose corporate values have dropped significantly due to the crypto winter. Among those on their shopping lists are a number of South Korean crypto firms.The aforementioned deep-pocketed crypto giants have all recently announced various collaborations with South Korean firms, with many crypto exchanges, including Crypto.com and FTX, also seeking to acquire smaller Korean businesses.Why, then, are crypto giants eyeing the South Korean market, in spite of its strict and restrictive financial regulations? An undying enthusiasm for crypto investment within Korea and a host of consumers eager to embrace new technological innovations are often cited as core reasons.“South Korea has always been a leader, especially when it comes to digital assets,” said Matthew Sorg, head of Product and Partner Engineering at the Solana Foundation, which runs the Solana project, in an interview with The Miilk.“Korean innovation is driving everything from the digital asset market, free-to-play games, e-sports, and mobile phone adoption, all the way to innovations in core gameplay across both casual and AAA massively multiplayer online games and shooters,” he added.The nation is indeed playing an important part in the global trade of cryptocurrencies, currently ranking second in the world in total bitcoin transaction volume. The South Korean won accounts for 8.72% of all bitcoin transactions, placing it just behind the US dollar, according to market index provider Coinhills on August 9th 2022.What’s more, according to the data provider The Block, the South Korean crypto exchange Upbit accounts for 18% of all crypto transactions, ranking third globally after the US exchange Coinbase and Bahamian exchange FTX.Given its prominent market standing, South Korea has earned the attention of the big dogs of the crypto market. Sorg added that South Koreans are characterized as unafraid of using and trading digital assets and gaming items, all the while adapting quickly to new mobile technology.Likewise, Polygon also highlighted the appeal of Korea’s tech savvy environment. “South Korea’s trading volume is very high, with the nation housing many innovative and exciting tech-focused large enterprises. As Polygon becomes a global company, Korea is becoming an increasingly important market to us,” Michael Jordan, Senior Business Development Officer at Polygon, told The Miilk.