Market cap of virtual assets up 46 percent in H1: data

The value of South Korea's virtual asset market grew 46 percent in the first half from six months earlier on higher prices of cryptocurrencies and improved investor sentiment, data showed Monday.

The market capitalization of South Korea's cryptocurrency market came to 28.4 trillion won (US$21.05 billion) as of end-June, up from 19.4 trillion won tallied in December of last year, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC).

The total value of Korean won deposits made by traders here also increased by 11 percent to 4 trillion won and the operating profit of the operators rose by 82 percent to 227.3 billion won over the same period.

The FSC surveyed a total of 35 virtual asset operators in the country, including 26 crypto exchanges.

Despite an increase in the value of the crypto market, the average value of daily crypto transactions at the 26 exchanges dipped 1.3 percent to 2.9 trillion won in the January-June period from six months ago.

The number of individual and corporate crypto traders also decreased by 210,000 to 6.06 million as of end-June.

Of the individual traders, those in their 30s accounted for the biggest share and more than 67 percent held virtual assets worth less than 500,000 won.

The data also showed that 622 types of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Dogecoin, were traded in South Korea in the first half.

Also in the first half, a total of 169 crypto coins were newly listed, while 115 coins had a suspension of trading due to project risk, investor protection or other reasons.

The max draw down rate of cryptocurrencies, which shows the price volatility, stood at 62 percent as of end-June, down 5 percentage points from end-December.

South Korea plans to implement a law aimed at protecting crypto investors, the first of its kind, in July next year.

Under the new law, those who unfairly trade virtual assets can be sentenced to prison terms and fined. Acts of unfair trading include the use of undisclosed information, market price manipulation and illegal transactions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency