A staffer at Bithumb’s bank partner has complained of having to work overtime because so many South Koreans just keep wanting to open a bitcoin account at the crypto exchange.
“This week’s new subscribers have been increasing, and I’ve been working hard to find my way out of the office during work hours,” an NH Bank staff member in Seoul city center said according to a rough translation.
He added that the number of visitors who want to open a new crypto account has increased remarkably.
In South Korea they have what they call real account crypto accounts. That means you have to physically go to the bank and open a virtual account that can then be used to sign up with Bithumb or other South Korean crypto exchanges.
They’re doing this to verify identity and to verify one is South Korean because only South Koreans can trade on South Korean exchanges.
This week it looks like a lot of them have taken an interest in bitcoin and cryptos more generally, with the bank staffer saying “a lot of customers keep opening and opening an account.”
Trading volumes have also increased considerably in South Korea with CryptoCompare stating monthly volumes increased by 85% for April. They say:
“Bithumb was the top exchange at USD 17bn, despite a 47% drop in volumes, followed by Upbit and Bitfinex at USD 8.7bn (up 20%) and USD 6.7bn (up 114%) respectively. Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp and Coinsbit also enjoyed a surge in volumes in April, while Liquid experienced a decrease.”
Local peer to peer bitcoin volumes have also jumped in South Korea, with the amounts minuscule compared to centralized exchanges, but perhaps indicating a trend.
All of the above suggests South Korea might be making an entrance again after a break last year as bitcoin may have bottomed in December and might now be looking to break $8,700.