‘Alarm' rings as crypto trading outpaces the South Korean stock market

‘Alarm’ rings as crypto trading outpaces the South Korean stock market

For the first time in South Korean history, crypto trading volumes have outperformed stock market activity, with crypto trading growing at an alarming rate, according to some.

Crypto trading volume figures peaked at USD 21.5 billion per day on April 15, according to Yonhap and Segye Ilbo, as well as Kyunghyang Shinmun.

In March, the combined daily total for the stock market. The KOSDAQ market plus the sum of the South Korean securities markets. And the activities of South Korean traders on overseas markets – averaged USD 18.8 billion. The figures for April are not yet available.

The USD 21.5 billion figure was derived from CoinMarketCap data from 14 domestic exchanges that support fiat KRW-crypto pairings, according to the media outlets.

Traditional investors have reacted with skepticism to the news

Traditional investors, on the other hand, have expressed their disbelief at the news. Lee Young-sik, a domestic stock market trader with more than two decades of experience, told Cryptonews.com,

“The rush of totally green retail investments to the crypto market is alarming, to say the least. People are on the lookout for a quick buck. They have lost all faith in the real estate market, which many of them now see as inaccessible. But rather than turning to stocks, now they have crypto as an alternative. I’m not convinced that all of them know what they’re doing. I hope we don’t see another repeat of early 2018.”

Kim Tae-ho, another frequent KOSDAQ trader, told

“Money’s flowing. People want to invest. They can’t spend in shops and other businesses because of [the coronavirus pandemic], so they are putting what they can into whatever markets they can afford.”

During the pandemic, stock market trading has exploded, with the benchmark KOSPI’s volatility index (VKOSPI). Also known as the “fear index,” falling to its lowest level since January 2020.

According to Segye Ilbo, the market has been boosted by large overseas stock buys on the KOSPI. Particularly in the semiconductors sector, with foreign investors eager to tap into South Korea’s large chipset market.

However, it appears that many people, including some industry insiders. Believe the crypto market is being allowed to grow too quickly without adequate government oversight.

Lee Jong-gu, a former member of the Financial Services Commission. And the current chairman of the Korea Blockchain Association’s self-regulatory committee, was quoted by Yonhap as saying,

“Even though millions of [South Korean] crypto investors [conduct] transactions of volumes worth tens of [billions of dollars] a day, we still have no consistent and unified regulation on cryptoassets.”