South Korean investors reportedly own over $5 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC). Ripple (XRP) is the second most popular digital asset as locals hold nearly $4.8 billion in it.
BTC and XRP Lead the Way
South Korea’s leading crypto exchanges – Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit – conducted a study to determine which digital assets are the most attractive to local investors. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization – Bitcoin (BTC) – places first as South Koreans have invested more than $5 billion in it. The native token of Ripple – XRP – ranks second with around $4.8 billion distributed in it.
The third and fourth places belong to Ether (ETH) and Cardano (ADA), respectively. Investors own approximately $4.5 billion worth of the second-largest digital asset and nearly $1 billion in ADA.
Interestingly, the first-ever memecoin – Dogecoin (DOGE) – rounds up the top 5. South Koreans hold almost $900 million worth of it.
The report noted that local investors traded over $7 trillion in digital assets throughout 2021. The figure is more than the entire amount traded on the main Korea Composite Stock Price Index and the transactions on the junior Kosdaq.
South Korea Takes the Crypto Path
Last month, the East Asian country held its most contested presidential election. In the aftermath, the candidate of the Conservative party – Yoon Suk-yeol – collected only 263,000 votes more than his opponent and became South Korea’s next President. What’s more interesting is that he is a keen proponent of the cryptocurrency industry and vowed to turn his homeland into a digital asset hub.
During his campaign, he promised to allow initial coin offerings (ICOs) and increase the minimum threshold for paying capital gains tax on profits from crypto investments. He vowed to change the law and ensure that those who generate revenues of less than $40,000 annually should be exempt from paying taxes. Currently, such taxation is imposed on investors who make more than $2,000 per annum.
Korea Blockchain Association – a lobby group for crypto exchanges – envisioned that the new leader of South Korea will positively impact the local digital asset ecosystem. Secretary-General Yoon Seong-han said:
“We definitely welcome his stance as he is confident about boosting the industry. As ICOs are banned now, we have no choice but to issue coins in Singapore and other countries. Ventures and startups will be able to raise money easily from investors [if the ban is lifted].”
BigONE Exchange’s Chairman – Anndy Lian – also welcomed the new President of the country:
“He understands the importance of crypto. He understands the future, and it is unstoppable.”