Cryptocurrency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12th July 2018

Cryptocurrencies are traditionally perceived as investment avenues for quick and high returns, and mostly been limited to trading purposes. However, as they continue to gain considerable ground in Asia-Pacific (APAC), several companies are now looking to leverage the high user base and explore the other possible use-cases, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Reportedly, Japan and South Korea are among the top three markets globally, along with the US, for cryptocurrency trades. As of January 2018, nearly one third of global bitcoin transactions were made with Japanese Yen and South Korea accounted for around 35% of global Ethereum trading.

Sowmya Kulkarni, Payments Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The gradual rise in cryptocurrency acceptance at merchant locations can be seen as an upcoming trend in the region, with merchants increasingly opting for this method of payment due to benefits such as lower transaction fees, no chargebacks, and cheaper payment acceptance from foreign tourists.”

Large merchants such as Bic Camera and Yamada Denki in Japan and Goto Mall in South Korea are now accepting payments with cryptocurrencies, which is likely to push many more peers to look at accepting cryptocurrency payments.

Most recently in March 2018, Bithumb – a cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea – partnered with Korea Pay Services to enable 6,000 retail outlets across South Korea to accept cryptocurrency payments. Earlier in April 2017, Coincheck – a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan – partnered with Recruit Lifestyle to roll out its bitcoin-enabled POS app AirREGI across 260,000 merchant stores in Japan.

The continued development of the cryptocurrency market has attracted considerable interest from regulators in Japan, Australia and South Korea. The new regulatory initiatives are expected to provide a much-needed push to widen the use-case of cryptocurrencies.

“Cryptocurrency has traditionally been a topic of discussion for its volatility and authenticity, with several industry experts not reckoning it as an alternative to traditional payment tools. This perception is changing with a large number of merchants and consumers in the region now gradually embracing it as a payment tool. Lower transaction charges compared to traditional card-based payments could make cryptocurrencies a preferred choice among merchants.

“In addition, merchants can also avoid costly chargebacks as purchases through cryptocurrencies are one-way and irreversible in nature. Customers also stand to benefit from cryptocurrency transactions in the form of potential pricing benefits from merchants, higher security, and easy borderless payments. This form of payments is now becoming increasingly popular among tourists, as they don’t attract foreign exchange charges,” concludes Sowmya.

ENDS

For more information:

Analysts available for comment. Please contact the GlobalData Press Office:

Asia-Pacific: +91 40 6616 6809

EMEA & Americas: +44 (0)207 832 4399

Email: [email protected]

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.

If you would rather not receive future communications from GlobalData, let us know by clicking here.
GlobalData, John Carpenter House 7 Carmelite Street, London, N/A EC4Y 0BS United Kingdom

bithumb

On June 7, 2018, South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Bithumb released the results of a user survey called, “Cryptographic Investment Trends.” It captured the perspective of 2,507 virtual currency investors over the age of 20. The survey included questions on investment plans and government regulations. A notable finding was that 42.8 percent of those surveyed plan to “hodl” or keep their crypto-investments over the long term. A Bithumb press release authored by “Bitsumm manager” states:

As cipher money continues to be recognized as an asset in major industrialized countries, the perception of cipher money investment is gradually matured by domestic investors.

Bithumb Survey Findings

The Bithumb survey discovered that the older the cryptocurrency buyer, the more likely they are to plan to hodl and make longstanding investments. Here are the percentages of each age range that plan to preserve their holdings:

  • Investors in their 20s: 30.8 percent
  • 30s: 40.3 percent
  • 40s: 45.3 percent
  • 50s and older: 49.1 percent

Bithumb also shares that 39.5 percent of those surveyed plan to keep their investments, even if the government requires them to pay capital gains taxes, or taxes levied on profits from the sale of assets, on cryptocurrency. This is an 11 percent increase over Bithumb survey data from a year ago. About 13.1 percent responded that they would completely stop investing in digital money if this tax is imposed. The exchange concludes, “more and more investors are looking at cryptographic money as assets and looking for stable investments.”

Bithumb was founded in 2015 and is one of one of the largest exchanges in South Korea. The survey was conducted between April 30 and May 6, 2018, through Bithumb Cafe, Bithumb’s official communication channel.

Other South Korean- and Bithumb-related News

South Korea continues its tumultuous journey to establish crypto-trading regulations, which included discussion of a total ban in January 2018.

Bithumb recently made regulatory headlines when it announced it would ban users from 11 countries in late May 2018 as part of its anti-money laundering or AML policies. Specifically, citizens of countries labelled as Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories, or NCCT, were banned as of May 28. NCCT countries are noncompliant with the standards set out by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, or FATF, an intergovernmental organization established by the G-7 in 1989. This group of countries includes North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

Bithumb stated in a related press release:

We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors, and we will actively cooperate with the authorities. We will lead the standards of the Worldwide Codex Exchange with autonomous regulation ahead of schedule.

Earlier in 2018, South Korean exchanges including Bithumb banned anonymous cryptocurrency trading.

As of May 2018, Yoon Suk-heun, the new governor of the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, is reportedly considering relaxing cryptocurrency regulations.

The featured image is a collage featuring the Bithumb logo (credit: Bithumb) and a public domain survey image.

coin renders

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Electrum Pro Site Shuts Down, Citing ‘False Accusations’ As Cause
Following the proof released and verified on may 9th, the site hosting the malware Electrum Pro seems to have been voluntarily shut down. A message on the site states Electrum Pro’s reputation has been ruined due to false accusations from electrum.org. The message further states that the domain is up for sale for 25BTC, and provides a contact email. (BlockExplorer verified that the proof was genuine and Electrum Pro is lying.)

Bitcoin Wallet Mycelium Begins Rolling Out BCH Support
BlockExplorer’s David Murray reports on the popular bitcoin wallet Mycelium rolling out support for bitcoin cash.

More Bitcoin Moved From Mt. Gox Wallet, Possible Sell-Off Affects Bitcoin Price
The Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee is suspected to have dumped another 8,000 bitcoin on the cryptocurrency market. CCN reports, “Today, on May 11, various reports have suggested that the recent price dip of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was triggered by the sell-off of Mt. Gox coins.”

South Korean’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Raided
CoinDesk Korea reports that on May 10 and 11 investigators from Seoul’s prosecutors’ office searched the head office of popular cryptocurrency exchange Upbit. “UPbit is suspected of fraud for allegedly selling cryptocurrency to customers that it does not actually hold”, according to the report.

Venture Capitalist Tim Draper: “Bitcoin Is The Most Secure Place To Put Your Money”
Tim Draper joined CNBC’s Closing Bell to discuss bitcoin. Draper was bullish on bitcoin stating, “It is a far better currency than the fiat currency. I mean, right now, your banks are being attacked all the time. The hackers are poking holes in your banks and going after your fiat money. And… the bankers are pounding away, trying to keep the hacks away but they’re getting hacked all of the time. No one has ever hacked the bitcoin blockchain. It is the most secure place to put your money.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

coin renders

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

New Head Of South Korean Financial Regulator Considers Relaxing Cryptocurrency Regulations

The Korea Times is reporting new Financial Supervisory Service Governor Yoon Suk-heun said the country will consider relaxing cryptocurrency regulations. An official from one of South Korea’s four major cryptocurrency exchange operators, Upbit, said, “We don’t oppose regulations. But you can’t entirely kill the markets by simply imposing regulations. What the new FSS chief should think about is how the regulators should provide remedies to help crypto trading and blockchain technology get better.”

Monero Cryptojacker Using NSA exploit EternalBlue

BlockExplorer’s Armin Davis reports that following the use of the NSA developed EternalBlue exploit in the now infamous ransomware WannaCry, a new malware known as WannaMine has surfaced.

Iceland’s 600 Missing Bitcoin Mining Machines Reported To Be in China

Earlier this year 600 Bitcoin mining machines were stolen from Iceland, a case generally chalked up to unsolvable until a few days ago when Icelandic media outlet RUV reported the machines are likely in Tianjin, China. Cointelegraph reports, “In Tianjin, it was precisely a pattern of highly irregular electricity usage that is reported to have attracted the attention of a local grid operator, leading to the authorities’ confiscation of the suspect mining hardware.”

Bitmain to Begin Shipping Equihash ASIC Miners in June

Chinese mining rig manufacturer Bitmain has unveiled the first Equihash ASIC miners, BlockExplorer’s David Murray reports, “making it likely that it will soon be unprofitable to mine Zcash using GPU-powered devices.”

BlockShow Europe 2018 Coming Up May 27-28

BlockExplorer’s Isaac Rocket reports, “After an eventful two months of hosting blockchain meetups across Europe, Blockshow is bringing their journey to a close with the featured conference, BlockShow Europe 2018.” This will be a big event with over 80 blockchain experts presenting, on the most pressing issues of today’s blockchain community.

Bitstamp, the world’s oldest currently-operating cryptocurrency exchange, is set to be purchased by a South Korean gaming firm that is looking to carve out a central role in the nascent blockchain industry.

Nexon, whose headquarters are now located in Japan, will likely acquire Bitstamp for $350 million, reports Business Insider, who cites three sources involved with the discussions.

The Luxembourg-based Bitstamp was founded in 2011, and it currently holds the distinction of being Europe’s only licensed cryptocurrency exchange. The firm regularly ranks among the world’s 10-15 largest exchanges as measured by daily trading volume, in part because it is one of a relatively low number of trading platforms equipped to offer fiat trading pairs.

In January, Bitstamp CEO said that the exchange had 3 million registered accounts and 500,000 active users, though this latter number may have declined over the past several months due to the lull in the market.

Nexon, meanwhile, released its first PC game in 1995 and remains a major player in the South Korean and Japanese PC and mobile gaming markets, though the firm also has offices in the US, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Some of the company’s better-known titles include South Korean and Japanese versions of Counter-Strike and FIFA Online, as well as Riders of Icarus and the MapleStory franchise.

Assuming the two parties ink the deal, Bitstamp will be the second cryptocurrency exchange Nexon has purchased in the past year alone. In September, the firm acquired a majority stake in Korbit, which at one time was South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency trading platform, at a $150 million valuation.

It will also be the industry’s third major cryptocurrency exchange acquisition in 2018.

In February, Circle acquired US cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, which posts lower daily trading volumes than Bitstamp but nevertheless managed to command a reported $400 million from the Goldman Sachs-backed fintech startup.

Earlier this month, Japanese brokerage firm Monex acquired Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck — which in January succumbed to the largest cryptocurrency exchange theft in history — for approximately $34 million.

Featured Image from Pixabay