In the Asian country people are going crazy around bitcoin’s opportunities and volatility: students, workers, moms, and grandparents, everybody seems to be excited about the digital currency.
In South Korea, bitcoin has been mainstream for months; it’s home to three of the world’s biggest bitcoin exchanges. In any given day, 20% of all bitcoin trades in the world happen in South Korea.
“First, it was just tech people. Now, literally everyone is interested in bitcoin,” said Isaac Chung, a college student who made several thousand dollars trading bitcoin.
Demand is so high, that South Koreans often end up paying a premium of between 15% and 25% more than the rest of the world. Local traders referred to it as “kimchi premium”.
“They see it as gambling in some ways, they try to earn more money by using exchanges,” commented Kim Duyoung, a manager at bitcoin brokerage Coinplug.
There are so many small investors experimenting with bitcoin, that authorities are getting worried about the potential impact of a crash. South Korea’s government said, a couple days ago, it was forming a special task force to study the “cryptocurrency problem.”
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