Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, has emerged as a top global crypto hub with its high regulatory structure, ease of doing business and digital infrastructure earning it a ranking among the world’s leading crypto adoption countries. While Korea’s grassroots movement towards embracing crypto has helped the region vault up the world crypto adoption index, as the most populous hub, the city has suffered from a low opportunities score, which measures per-capita crypto jobs, companies and events. Despite this, the city continues to attract entrepreneurial individuals and businesses that are keen to experiment with crypto.
South Korea’s retail market for crypto is known globally for its ability to spark significant market movements. Korean retail traders have the power to move global markets, and this was witnessed earlier this year when XRP soared, and it later became evident that Korean retail investors led global trading volumes. UpBit, Korea’s biggest crypto exchange, took the lead in the global trade for XRP with more than $400 million in tokens traded over a 24-hour period, overtaking volumes on Binance – the world’s largest exchange.
The country’s appeal as a crypto hub stems from its fast-paced and entrepreneurial spirit as well as its community of “builders.” It is no secret that Asia’s prominence in crypto is on the rise, especially after the regulatory crackdowns in the United States. South Korea’s crypto community pointed out three reasons why Seoul is appealing: the city’s openness to experimentation, South Korea’s excellence in gaming, and its community of builders.
Despite being a vibrant market for crypto, the city’s regulatory situation has dampened political enthusiasm temporarily. The Terra Luna project’s spectacular crash, with its co-founder being born in Korea, and the project’s extreme popularity in Korea, created local victims, which apparently dampened the region’s political enthusiasm for crypto. However, some members of South Korea’s crypto community complain they want regulation to foster the growth and development of the industry.
Currently, the Korean won is consistently in the top three most traded national currencies against Bitcoin, and there are nearly seven million registered crypto users in Korea, roughly a total population of 51 million. An obstacle for non-native Koreans may be the language barrier, but many know English, and locals are willing to learn. The tech community in Seoul is mobilized, with nearly all South Koreans having broadband internet access at home, and the country has the fastest internet speed globally.
South Korea’s crypto craze during a bull market is exciting, and it may only take a new bull market to give an extra push to this already vibrant market.