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Traders in Asia, especially South Korea, have played a major role in driving the unexpected surge in digital asset market volume. Data from CCData reveals a significant rise in market share for South Korean-based exchanges.

In November, their market share surged to 12.9%, a significant increase from the 5.2% recorded in January. This rise aligns with a general uptick in trading volume observed in the digital asset space during October and November.

South Korean Traders Drive Altcoin Surge

Since early October, the digital asset market has experienced a rally, driven by growing optimism surrounding the potential authorization of U.S. exchange-traded funds to hold digital assets.

Bitcoin has seen a nearly 40% increase in value over the past month, while smaller tokens like Solana and Avalanche have witnessed even more substantial surges.

Analysts at CryptoQuant, a blockchain data platform originating from South Korea, highlighted that traders in South Korea are playing a significant role in the increasing trading volume of altcoins. Chung Hochan, CryptoQuant’s Head of Marketing, attributes this trend to the absence of a futures market for retail investors in South Korea.

This absence has led retail investors in the country to explore substantial leverage opportunities within the crypto market, particularly with altcoins. The increased interest contributed to the remarkable expansion of the altcoin market compared to other investment assets.

South Korea’s Crypto Community is Growing

South Korea has gained recognition for its robust blockchain and crypto community, with figures like Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon, the mind behind algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD, hailing from the country.

However, Korea’s crypto community faced setbacks following Terra’s collapse in May 2022. Despite this, many crypto firms view South Korea as a significant opportunity, especially amid increasing regulatory challenges in the United States.

In response to the evolving landscape, South Korean regulators are actively monitoring the over-the-counter (OTC) crypto market to prevent its misuse for criminal activities. The South Korean Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Criminal Law Academy recently organized a session addressing challenges and issues related to virtual currencies.

The discussion focused on the rising incidents of crimes involving virtual currencies, such as fraud and money laundering.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ki No-seong and Park Min-woo from the Financial Services Commission expressed concerns, particularly emphasizing issues associated with over-the-counter (OTC) trading and the deposit business of virtual currencies. They mentioned that they underscored the necessity for stricter regulations, as these platforms often operate outside standard oversight, providing potential avenues for illegal activities.

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