Two top South Korean crypto exchanges – Bithumb and Upbit – recorded sales drops of 70 percent and 63 percent respectively since 2018.
First reported by Coindesk Korea, the numbers were revealed by the parent companies of both exchanges in their regulatory filings.
The significant decrease in the revenue of both giants is a result of decreasing demand in digital currency trading in the local market. Notably, South Korea was one of the largest crypto markets with a massive Bitcoin demand; however, the long-reigning bear in the market forced the people to pull out from the volatile market.
The report detailed that in the peak months of 2017, Bithumb and Upbit handled 1.2 million and 1.35 million Bitcoins per month. However, this number dropped significantly as the two exchanges recorded trade volumes of 300,000 and 200,000 Bitcoins, respectively, in the peak months of 2019 and 2020.
Upbit’s plummeted numbers followed its operator Dunamu’s year-on-year profit decrease by 93 percent to $7.4 million.
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The decreasing number is not limited to the top exchanges as trade volumes in exchanges like Korbit, Coinone, and Gopax also dropped by 60 to 80 percent.
Regulation is the way to go
Meanwhile, the peninsular nation is also pushing to regulate the wild industry of digital currencies. Earlier this month, South Korean lawmakers passed a bill, regulating all crypto exchanges, which mandated their registration with the Financial Services Commission and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA).
Along with its plummeting numbers, Bithumb was also slapped with a hefty fine of $69 million by Korean tax authorities, against which the exchange moved to the tribunal.
Notably, both the exchanges were attacked several times, resulting in a dent in their businesses.