South Korean crypto exchanges are having a bumper 2021, with sales and income figures rising through the roof at the nation’s two largest trading platforms.
Per Herald Kyungjae, recently released data from Vidente, a minority shareholder in the market-leading Bithumb exchange, showed that the platform’s net sales for the past financial year were USD 193.5m. The company’s net income was up by over 873% on the previous year, at USD 112.5m.
There was also a bumper rise in consolidated sales at Dunamu, the operator of Bithumb’s biggest rival Upbit. The media outlet said that information released by Dunamu showed that the operator posted consolidated sales figures of USD 156m for the same period, a rise of 26% on last financial year. And Dunamu’s net income was USD 46m – a rise of almost 400% on the previous financial year.
The Dunamu figures also include income from the operator’s securities trading platform, Stock Plus – although Herald Kyungjae stated that this was likely to represent only a tiny fraction of the company’s consolidated sales.
The media outlet added that an increase in transaction fee income was likely to have contributed to the huge rise in profitability.
Much of this growth is likely Q4-led, as the first few months of 2021 have seen South Korea welcome Crypto Fever 2.0, with recent data showing that trading and transaction volumes have swollen to levels far exceeding 2017’s peak. As previously reported, a generation of “crypto moms” has flocked to the market, with younger investors also feeling that crypto investment is “no longer optional.”
The two platforms are likely to receive a further boost on March 25 when new legislation comes into force requiring all exchanges to submit anti-money laundering data to financial regulators and abide by real-name banking protocols.
Bithumb’s CEO claimed earlier this year that the legislation would likely see only “four to seven” crypto exchanges left standing in South Korea, with the legal move effectively putting a swathe of smaller Bithumb and Upbit rivals out of business overnight.
This week, the OKEx exchange stated that it would cease trading in South Korea in April, with the new legislation forcing its hand.
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