Anyone that has lived in Korea for a couple of years will appreciate that Koreans take crazy to a whole other level. It’s not just a few people that go nuts, the whole country goes nuts, over the same thing at the same time. Whether it is honey-butter potato chips, spicy fire chicken noodles, (불닭볶음면) or the most recent craze, the Korean crypto craze, nobody seems to do crazy better than Korea.
With Bitcoin being mentioned in the national newspapers, suddenly the cryptocurrency is on more-or-less everyone’s radar. People are flocking to Bithumb.com, the Korean cryptocurrency trading site to try and get a piece of the action. Men and women, young and old are fueling the Korean crypto craze and the price, is skyrocketing as a result. With Bitcoin being the preferred cryptocurrency of choice, Koreans are driving up the price of the blockchain currency.
This has caused a 180 degree reversal in the government’s approach to the trading of cryptocurrencies. A little more than two weeks ago, the government announced it wouldn’t regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trading. It then declared that it most certainly would. Part of the reason is the dramatic, almost mind-boggling increase in the price of Bitcoin. At the start of the year Bitcoin was trading at a little under 1,000,000KRW, where as today it is now sitting at close to 20,000,000KRW!
In the last week alone the currency has gone from less than $15,000 to over $21,000!
Many analysts see this as bubble territory and think that the price has gone far too high, far too quickly. Maybe they’re right. But the essential thing about Bitcoin, that may well mean that this is only just the first in a series of massive increases in price, is that Bitcoin is a modern approach to finance.
It has broken the financial mold and made it possible for all the different cryptocurrencies of the world to establish themselves.
Unlike cash which is printed these days in more or less endless amounts. Cryptocurrencies are limited in their supply, and therefore the value could well increase more or less exponentially.
Die-hard bitcoin investors from all over the web see the future of bitcoin to be in millions of dollars rather than the thousands. To be perfectly honest, where the price will go is anybody’s guess. While people may well look at the Korean crypto craze and think that the locals are crazy, nobody really knows how this will pan out.
These are uncharted waters, virgin territory to be colonized by the cryptocurrencies. As more and more crypto-currencies are invented and offered to the public, wealth is being drained from the stock markets and bank accounts of the world and thrown, with perhaps no real understanding at cryptocurrencies. This transferal of liquidity into cryptos has certainly made the governments of the world take notice, and try to figure out what to do about it.
As a foreigner in Korea investing in cryptos can quite easily be done via bithumb.com assuming you have all the relevant documents. Another option is to use changelly.com which accepts credit card payments from citizens from most western countries.
As more and more cryptocurrencies emerge, early investment seems to be key. Each different coin seems to aim to tackle a certain industry or problem. One example is Naga Coin which aims to be the currency of choice for the gaming world. Now that bitcoin has made the world pay attention to cryptocurrencies, more and more people are moving their financial assets into them.
One thing is for sure, and that is that the cryptocurrencies are here to stay and the financial world after 2017 will never be the same again. The Korean crypto craze may well be just the start of a global mania over cryptocurrencies, or it could all be just a giant bubble that leaves many people out of pocket. It is impossible to say for sure what will happen just yet.