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Increased Bitcoin Premium in South Korea Indicates High Local Demand



Bitcoin has been on a rollercoaster ride recently, falling below $70,000 and then stabilizing above the $69,000 mark. However, in South Korea, there has been a notable rise in the premium for bitcoin. The premium in the country dropped below 1% after nearly hitting 10% in mid-April but has rebounded in recent days. Data from shows that the premium went from 0.62% on June 4 to 3.42% on June 6, indicating that South Korean investors are willing to pay a premium for bitcoin.

Archived data from on June 9 shows that bitcoin was trading at $69,288 globally, but on platforms like Upbit, it was priced at $71,130 per BTC, a 2.658% premium. Similar premiums were observed on other South Korean platforms like Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Ethereum also showed a premium of 2.69% in South Korea compared to global prices. The closed trading environment, high retail demand, absence of institutional players, and regulatory hurdles in South Korea contribute to the supply-demand imbalances that cause bitcoin to trade at a premium in the country.

In Q1 2024, the South Korean won surpassed the U.S. dollar in BTC trading volume, showing the significant interest in cryptocurrencies within the country. Currently, the won accounts for 2.07% of BTC trade volume, while the U.S. dollar holds 7.85% of all bitcoin trades. The majority of BTC trades in South Korea are conducted using U.S. dollar-based stablecoins. The premium observed in the country is indicative of the unique market dynamics and regulatory landscape of South Korea’s crypto industry.

The premium in South Korea offers valuable insights into the localized market dynamics and investor behavior in the region. A high premium is generally seen as a bullish signal, indicating strong buying pressure from South Korean investors. This could potentially push the price of bitcoin higher in the short term. Traders can use this information to make informed decisions about their investments and to understand the impact of regional factors on the cryptocurrency market.

Overall, the rebounding premium for bitcoin in South Korea highlights the differences in market dynamics and investor sentiment compared to the global market. The regulatory environment, demand from retail investors, and the absence of institutional players all play a role in shaping the premium for bitcoin in the country. As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, understanding these regional nuances will be crucial for traders looking to navigate the market effectively. Share your thoughts and opinions on this subject in the comments section below.

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