It is a well-known fact Korean cryptocurrency exchanges value most cryptocurrencies a lot higher compared to their Western counterparts. This has been the case for nearly every cryptocurrency in the world, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, to name a few. It now appears the same is happening to Bitcoin Cash, as Bithumb opened trading of BCH overnight. Right now, one token is valued at US$577, which is almost double that of the Western exchanges.
Korean Exchanges See Merit in Bitcoin Cash
It is always interesting to see how exchanges all over the world value the same cryptocurrencies differently. Over in Asia, paying a premium price compared to Western markets has become the new normal in recent years. That is somewhat surprising, though, but it is acceptable in that part of the world. In most cases, trades pay a premium of 5% on top of the global market average for that particular cryptocurrency.
Things are a bit different as far as Bitcoin Cash is concerned, though. Bithumb is one of Korea’s largest exchanges, and they finally enabled the trading of BCH against the Korean Won. It does not appear there is a BCH/BTC trading pair on the exchange right now, although that situation may come to change in the near future. So far, the market is generating a nice amount of trading volume and the BCH price isn’t tanking like it is in the Western world.
More specifically, Bitcoin Cash is valued at US$579.4 on the Bithumb exchange at the time of writing. Taken an average premium of 5% into account, that means the price in the rest of the world should be close to US$551. That Is anything but the case, though, as exchanges such as Bittrex are effectively driving the price down quite hard In fact, the price hovers around US$248.88 right now across Western exchanges, which is shockingly low compared to Bithumb.
Explaining such a large price discrepancy is not easy. It does not appear Bithumb allows for BCH deposits and withdrawals right now, which is not entirely uncommon across exchanges these days. After all, most platforms have taken that stance, with Bittrex being one of the few exceptions. Assuming this volume on Bithumb are only the tokens issued to existing users without external deposits coming in, the current price can be justified easily. We saw the same scenario unfold on Bittrex, where the price hit over US$1,100 at one point. That didn’t last all that long, though.
For the people looking to try and take advantage of this arbitrage opportunity, that will not be all that easy. Unless you have access to a Korean bank account or passport, you will face a fair few limitations regarding deposits and withdrawals. Moreover, without knowing if Bithumb effectively allows BCH deposits, there is very little reason in signing up for this platform anyway. Until deposits are allowed, no one can take advantage of any opportunity whatsoever, unfortunately. It is still a rather interesting development, to say the least.
It is certainly possible the success of Bitcoin Cash may hinge on support from Asian enthusiasts and miners. So far, it seems the mining community has little to no interest in this project. However, if the prices across Asian exchanges remain relatively high, that situation may come to change sooner or later. Bithumb is currently pushing for a very high BCH price, which is more than double the market average in the West. Something will have to give in order to bridge this gap. It will be interesting to see how this situation evolves.
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