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23 April 2021

South Korea’s Capital Controls Have Pushed Bitcoin’s Price to $66,600 - Decrypt

South Korea’s Capital Controls Have Pushed Bitcoin’s Price to $66,600 - Decrypt

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The Bitcoin / Korean won pairing on two of the country’s largest exchanges, Bithumb and Korbit, shows that Bitcoin’s price is currently 75,166,000 South Korean won, equivalent to $66,633.

The kimchi premium occurs because South Korean exchanges don’t have enough crypto to meet the huge demand.

South Korea’s government makes it cumbersome to send the country’s national currency, the won, to other countries, making it tricky for crypto exchanges to keep money flowing through them.

“Especially during bull markets, the kimchi premium tends to happen as South Korean retail speculators FOMO into the markets,” Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research, told Decrypt.

And the kimchi premium fell to a discount—Bitcoin was cheaper to buy in South Korea than elsewhere—in early 2018, when Bitcoin crashed from near-enough $20,000 and the bear market set in.

According to Doo Wan Nam, head of business development in Asia for governance protocol Maker, the kimchi premium has reappeared due to high demand for Bitcoin, but insufficient supply of the coin on South Korean exchanges.

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