% 4.13
BTC Dominance:
% 0.35
Market Cap:
$2.21 T
% 1.97
Fear & Greed:
33 / 100
$ 62.574
BTC Dominance:
% 53.6
Market Cap:
$2.21 T

South Korean Altcoin Frenzy Fizzles: Upbit Trading Volume Crashes 75%


Trading volume on Upbit, South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, has plunged a staggering 75% from its 2024 high. This significant drop suggests a potential cooling-off period for alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) in the region.

Data Paints a Clear Picture

According to CoinGecko, Upbit’s 24-hour trading volume currently sits at $3.79 billion, a far cry from the peak of $15 billion recorded on March 5th, 2024. This decline coincides with a stabilization of the altcoin market cap around $750 billion, down from a two-year high of $788 billion witnessed in early March.

Cryptocurrency research firm Matrixport attributes the surge in trading volume to a confluence of factors. These include:

Expectation of the Dencun Upgrade: Ethereum‘s Dencun upgrade, promising lower transaction fees, fueled investor anticipation.

Political Developments: Political events in South Korea may have brought cryptocurrencies to the forefront of public discourse.

However, with the recent trading volume decline, Matrixport raises concerns about the sustainability of the altcoin rally.

South Korea’s Unique Crypto Culture

South Korean crypto investors appear to have a distinct preference for altcoins compared to established players like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). A 2023 study by DeSpread Research suggests that Upbit users prioritize maximizing profits through altcoins, even with their inherent higher risks.

This preference is reflected in Upbit’s trading volume composition. Unlike Nasdaq-listed Coinbase (COIN) where Bitcoin and Ether dominate, altcoin-fiat trading pairs account for the vast majority of activity on Upbit. As of writing, Bitcoin and Ether pairs contribute only around 9% to Upbit’s total 24-hour trading volume.

The dramatic drop in trading volume on Upbit serves as a potential indicator of a cooling-off period for altcoins in South Korea. Whether this decline persists or if altcoin interest reignites remains to be seen.

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