There is never a boring day in the world of cryptocurrency. Not too long ago, CoinMarketCap.com decided to exclude Korean cryptocurrency prices from their global market averages. It now seems the site has reversed this decision without issuing any official warning or explanation. This change appears to affect all cryptocurrency markets, although the rest of the world hasn’t responded to this sudden change either positively or negatively.
Coinmarketcap tracks Korean Prices Again
It seems there has been a rather interesting change across all South Korean cryptocurrency trading platforms. Even though the prices of all cryptocurrencies are still a lot higher in that part of the world, the premium has subsided somewhat. For example, South Korea was trading Bitcoin at over US$14,000 a few days ago, even though the Western world never crossed US$11,500 at that time. This difference has since leveled off a bit, though there’s still a small gap.
More specifically, the Bitcoin price on Upbit is now US$12,514, whereas OKEX and Bitfinex are trading it at US$11,737. We also see Bithumb valuing Bitcoin at US$12,473, which is in stark contrast to a few weeks ago. It is unclear where this decline has come from all of a sudden, as no one expected the Bitcoin price to normalize in such a spectacular fashion. This doesn’t mean the Bitcoin price is the same all over the world, but a premium of less than 10% is pretty normal these days.
CoinMarketCap’s decision to suddenly include these prices again is rather controversial. That’s especially because they never gave any indication of doing so, nor have they let users disable South Korean prices again. Live Coin Watch, one of the few competitors to CoinMarketCap, does provide that functionality, but their prices are slightly off at times. It is evident there is no real reason to exclude South Korean prices, even though they do skew the global average a tiny bit.
It will be interesting to see if CoinMarketCap sticks with this decision once South Korean prices start going berserk once again. It is only logical to expect the South Korean Bitcoin price to surge to US$15,000 again well before the Western world comes even close to surpassing US$13,000. At the same time, the trading volumes of all of these exchanges are very low right now, which is not just affecting the Bitcoin markets; it’s also prevalent as far as altcoins are concerned.
One of the big questions people have is whether or not CoinMarketCap wants to manipulate cryptocurrency prices. After all, they could delist Korean prices in a few days from now and potentially trigger another massive correction. It is unclear what the goal is for this particular platform and what drives its decisions. In particular, changes like this one need to be communicated a lot better, as the current situation has sparked a lot of unnecessary confusion and anger.
For now, this change has not had any major impact on individual cryptocurrency prices. Smart people will have noticed the total cryptocurrency market cap went up by nearly US$50 billion ever since the South Korean prices were included again. Should any exchange be labeled an outlier on CoinMarketCap, a few dozen billion dollars will be wiped off the total market cap once again. It is an interesting situation well worth keeping an eye on.