South Korea has been one of the most active places in the cryptocurrency market. On Wednesday, it almost singlehandedly delivered a record-breaking Ripple surge which topped at 84 percent on some exchanges. So what exactly is going down in South Korea?
Well, South Korea and its neighbour Japan, Asia’s most advanced nations have been taking more than a casual interest in cryptocurrencies. In fact, its banks and financial institutions are set to begin testing Ripple for possible use in payment transfers. If successful, it is expected that it will cut cost by up to 60 percent and mark a paradigm shift in the way banking is done across the world.
A consortium of about 61 corporations in Japan has already been formed to take advantage of the payment system underlining the enthusiasm for technology in the region.
“We commend these banks in Japan for taking a giant step forward on behalf of their customers. This is a great example of a regional bank converging into a global real-time payments network for the greater good.” Marcus Treacher, head of strategic accounts for Ripple said in a statement the wake of the new development.
The system is expected to be implemented by financial institutions on a larger scale in 2018 with cross-border payments between the two countries expected at the end of January.
South Korea is one of the most vibrant markets in the world with flows now estimated at $960 billion. This comes amid reports that the country is mulling over a total ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country. The move, the Ministry of Justice says will be aimed at protecting its citizens from scams although it is expected to meet fierce opposition.
“We do not rule out an option that bans trading of [all] cryptocurrencies. We acknowledge many problems stemming from the trade and are studying how to control them,” Nikkei reported Prosecutor Choi Jin-Seok as having said.
The test is expected to be conducted on Friday, and this is expected to further excite the markets. Word of mouth spreads fast in South Korea as people rush to make a kill with the newly found asset. Just three of the leading South Korean exchanges accounted for over 50 percent of global Ripple trading overtaking more entrenched players like Poloniex, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Binance, Bittrex, Kraken and Bitstamp combined.
Prices are however especially volatile in the region as traders enter and exit the market rapidly according to the trends. Huge waves in prices are therefore expected in the following days and investors are advised to take a cautious approach.
As of 08.14 UTC, Ripple market cap successfully reached worth $21,737,386,434.
The fact that Ripple recently partnered with American Express also explains some of the spikes. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world,” CNBC quoted Marc Gordon of American Express as having said.