South Koreans in their 20s and 30s are excited about cryptocurrencies and are eager to invest. This is according to a study carried out by the Bank of Korea, the country’s central bank. The survey was released on Tuesday and showed general support for digital currencies in the East Asian nation despite recent drastic declines in prices.
Breaking down the numbers
The survey by the BOK involved 2,511 participants from across the country. Of these, 21.6% said they were aware of the existence of cryptocurrencies. This number was much higher among millennials, at 29.4% among people in their 20s and 40.3% among respondents in their 30s.
The survey also indicated that interest in cryptocurrency investment among millennials was high, with 24.2% of those in their 20s eager and willing to invest in cryptocurrencies. Among those in their 30s, 20.1% were willing to invest in digital currencies.
The awareness of digital currencies is not as high among the baby boomer generation (55+). Only 5.7% of those in their 60s are aware of cryptocurrencies, with the number dropping to 2.2% for those aged 70 and above.
The study also segmented the respondents in regard to their economic status. The awareness and knowledge level of the respondents was directly proportional to their income. Those earning high amounts were more knowledgeable about digital currencies than those whose earnings were low. However, by contrast, those with low incomes were the most willing to invest in cryptocurrencies, with those earning less than $18,600 (20 million won) annually being the most willing to stake their money on cryptocurrencies.
GROWING ENTHUSIASM IN ASIA
The study helped highlight a trend that has been observed in many Asian nations in recent years of heightened cryptocurrency enthusiasm. In Indonesia, the number of cryptocurrency traders surpassed the number of stock market traders earlier this year, marking a shift in investment trends in the country. According to data from that country’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Indodax, the exchange alone has 1.14 million users while the country’s stock exchange has 1.18 million traders. Other exchanges operating in Indonesia haven’t released their user numbers yet, which makes it probable that the number of crypto traders surpasses that of stockbrokers by a great margin. Interestingly, Indodax has only existed for three years, while the stock exchange has existed for over a century.
In South Korea, things are no different. The country has experienced great enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies with millennials leading the pack. Famous for their early adoption of most technological inventions, South Koreans have flocked to online exchanges, physical crypto investment firms, meetups, mobile apps, and online forums to quench their thirst for knowledge on cryptos.
The South Korean won is third worldwide for Bitcoin transactions after the US dollar and its neighboring Japanese yen. A recent survey revealed that 20% of students in the country have used their student loans to invest in cryptocurrencies, a further indicator of the heightened interest.
While the South Korean government has repeatedly threatened to completely ban cryptocurrencies to protect its citizens from losses, it has yet to do so. When the government promised to carry out a crackdown on exchanges to enforce regulations in January, more than 200,000 people signed an online petition urging the government not to take any drastic measures.
South Korean exchanges have also greatly influenced global market prices. With Upbit and Bithumb, the two largest exchanges in South Korea, currently ranked fifth and sixth globally, the country’s potential to influence market trends is great. These exchanges dominate the trade volume of some coins such as Monero and XRP. Last year, speculation in the South Korean crypto market helped push the price of XRP up by over 60% in just 24 hours.