Bitcoin Eyes $12,000 in South Korea as Demand For Cryptocurrency Market Rises

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February 18, 2018 6:51 AM UTC

Bitcoin has built significant momentum over the past 24 hours, surpassing the $11,000 mark. The majority of alternative cryptocurrencies in the market have performed poorly against bitcoin, as the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market continued to lead a strong rally.

Against the US dollar, bitcoin has increased by nearly 8 percent since February 17, achieving $11,200. Apart from a few small cryptocurrencies such as Aion, bitcoin has been the best performing major cryptocurrency in the market.

Every top 20 cryptocurrency in the global market has recorded a loss against bitcoin in the past 24 hours, with Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency Ether demonstrating a 5 percent loss, Litecoin recording a 7 percent loss, and NEO recording nearly an 8 percent loss against bitcoin.

Throughout January, the cryptocurrency market experienced one of the worst corrections in history, as most cryptocurrencies declined by around 70 percent from their all-time highs (ATHs). Since early February, the cryptocurrency market has continuously recovered, but major cryptocurrencies with robust infrastructures, community support, and network effect have had an edge over other alternative cryptocurrencies.

During a recovery period, wherein new investors and traders enter the space as the market begins to see gains, cryptocurrencies with strong network effect such as bitcoin has a strong advantage over other alternative cryptocurrencies. Most investors who exited the market as the price of cryptocurrencies fell did it out of panic and fear.

Most investors that are entering the space now are experiencing FOMO, or fear of missing out. Hence, if FOMO is driving new investors into the scene, especially high profile and large-scale institutional investors, the go-to investment is bitcoin.

As investment advisor Ross Gerber said, the demand for bitcoin from Wall Street and big buyers has been increasing over the past week.

“Bitcoin $11,000. Had a talk with a huge investment management firm the other day. It didn’t take long till they started asking me crypto questions. Started taking notes. What do the coins do. How does it work. Trust me the big players are watching,” said Ross.

South Korea

The demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been on the rise in the South Korean cryptocurrency market, as the “Kimchi Premium” reappeared on major cryptocurrency exchanges including Bithumb and Korbit. Although the premium is only about 2 to 3 percent, which is significantly smaller than its rates in December, at one point in February, premium rates disappeared in South Korea due to a lack of demand.

South Korea is an important market for alternative cryptocurrencies like EOS, Qtum, Cardano, Ethereum, and Ripple. South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange market only accounts for around 6 percent of global bitcoin trades but for altcoins, the country remains as one of the largest markets.

UpBit, the only cryptocurrency exchange in the country that supports over a hundred cryptocurrencies, has consistently been the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the global market, behind Binance.

Since the cryptocurrency market experienced a major correction in January, most analysts in the South Korean market did not expect the market to begin its recovery period in February. But, demand is already growing in the local market and analysts expect it to be reflected upon the global market in the next few weeks.

Last modified: May 20, 2020 9:05 PM UTC

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Joseph Young @iamjosephyoung

Financial analyst based in Seoul, South Korea. Contributing regularly to CCN and Forbes. I have covered the stock market and bitcoin since 2013.