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Crypto in South Korea: A Shot At Prosperity

Crypto in South Korea: A Shot At Prosperity

Explainers Essentials

04 Nov 2019

That cryptocurrency is particularly popular among Millennials cannot come as a surprise. For a generation that grew up in the digital age that saw the rise of the commercial Internet, messaging apps, and other social applications that we take for granted today, the emergence of crypto is just a logical next step.

But there are other factors that make cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin appealing to Millennials and this is clearly seen in South Korea.

Crypto in South Korea

South Korea is among the top places for cryptocurrency. In 2017, South Koreans were responsible for a third of all Bitcoin trades. An estimated 3 in 10 salaried workers in Korea had invested in digital currencies by December 2017, according to a survey by Korean recruiting firm Saramin. And only recently, Busan was declared a partial regulation-free zone for crypto firms to develop the industry.

In the face of a youth unemployment crisis, the young generation of South Korea turns to cryptocurrencies to distinguish themselves from their peers in a highly educated economy.

Cryptocurrency provides a rare shot at prosperity for the younger generation. It represents hope and an opportunity to develop investment portfolios away from the traditional formats, like the housing market, that seem so out of reach.

On the outside, the Korean economy appears to be flourishing: the country is home to major industry leaders and is the 11th-largest economy in the world. Still, young people can’t find jobs. Youth unemployment presents huge problems for highly educated, motivated graduates. Entire neighborhoods in Seoul are full of college graduates studying to pass hiring exams in order to get in at Korea’s biggest companies or the enviable public sector. In a system where many doors are being shut, cryptocurrency, for some, presents a way out.

Koreans’ hyperconnectivity furthermore helps spur on Bitcoin’s popularity. Teens and young adults spend around four hours a day using mobile phones in Korea. Coupled with their familiarity with micropayment systems captivated by a robust gaming industry, South Koreans are comfortable with technological advances.

What’s more, their environment is ripe for digital technological innovations like cryptocurrencies: South Korea has the world’s fastest Internet speeds and a well-developed telecommunication system, providing a fruitful opportunity for crypto-enthusiasts. The digital phenomenon’s popularity is further turbocharged by political uncertainty. Bitcoin’s stateless status appeals to investors who are wary of geopolitical tensions across the region and how these may affect the economy.

Looking ahead

The reason why the attitude of Millennials towards crypto is significant is that this age group is next in line to receive a massive handover of generational wealth. As reported by Grayscale, an estimated $68 trillion will be changing hands over the next 25 years and considering the positive stance of young generations with respect to crypto, we can expect more dollars flowing into the market.

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AAX Trends focuses on market trends and analyzes essential events and factors in the cryptocurrency space. From DeFi, NFTs to GameFi and the metaverse, AAX has the answer to everything in the digital assets industry.

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