The bears have been hugging the world’s cryptocurrency markets since last December in such a way that they’ve lost 75% of their overall value during the first ten months of 2018. It’s not a new thing; it has already happened four times previously (the last time occurred at the bear market of 2014). Each time the market has recorded losses above 80% in total capitalization and, each time, it’s bounced back to reach new heights. No one says it will recover again.
The bulls have seen the current environment as an opportunity to buy cheap. The question in everybody’s mind is, of course, when is this highly anticipated new bull-run going to begin (if at all)? Well, the South Korean trading was a major player, if not the most significant, during the 2017 bull market.
A bullish sign from South Korea?
From Saturday to Monday the daily trading volume in the South Korean crypto exchanges has increased meaningfully by 10 – 15 percent.
The country’s biggest exchange is Bithumb, and it’s seen how the BTC to KRW pair has surged dramatically. This is not small potatoes. This trading pair is the most liquid after Bitmex Exchange’s BTC/USD. To be more specific, Bithumb settled $581 M in BTC/KRW trades just last Monday, with total trade volume (including all currencies) of $2.7 B.
Upbit is Korea’s second largest exchange, and its trading volume has gone up by 186%, mainly because of a sudden increase in demand for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). This has to do with the fact that BCH’s value has increased by 30% since last Friday, probably because of Binance’s announcement that it would fully support BCH’s future hard fork, which is to happen shortly (November 15th).
Other important exchanges have announced their intent to support the hard fork. One of them is Coinbase, and its team had this to say on the subject:
“Twice a year, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network hard forks as part of scheduled protocol upgrades. The next BCH hard fork is scheduled for Nov 15, 2018, and Coinbase is prepared to support the published roadmap from bitcoincash.org. However, unlike previous BCH hard forks, there is a competing proposal that is not compatible with this published roadmap.”
Despite BCH is rising; the current surge has been driven by demand for Bitcoin which remains the first cryptocurrency and the most influential in the market. This is surprising because BTC had been remarkably stable for several weeks. Since August 9th it remained between $6,300 and $6,800. It’s been more stable than the Dow Jones index or any fiat currency market in the world. But stability breeds confidence and confidence breeds demand.
An essential reason why this is happening in South Korea, specifically, is that the national government’s financial authorities have recently issued encouraging statements about altcoins and the cryptocurrency market in general.
Choi Jong-gu, who is the Financial Services Commission commissioner in South Korea (the country’s financial guardian), allowed banks to offer virtual bank accounts to crypto exchanges. This became a precedent for the local crypto sphere because it frees up banking services for crypto users.
So where do we go from here? Chances are it’s too soon to ring the bell, but this is a welcome development for crypto enthusiasts that could end up permeating the whole market around the planet.
So is the long-awaited “bullish” run starting already? It is, for Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple has had it too for a couple of weeks. Other than that, we’ll have to wait and see.
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