Popular Chat App Kakao’s Exchange Upbit Claims Number One Spot in South Korea
Kakao’s cryptocurrency exchange Upbit now claims to be the largest crypto exchange by volume in South Korea, one of the top three markets globally. Listing over 120 coins and leveraging Kakao Talk’s massive user base, Upbit currently facilitates an average daily trading volume of 5 trillion won.
Upbit Claims the Number 1 Spot
It has only been about two months since the launch of Upbit, the cryptocurrency exchange affiliated with Kakao Talk, South Korea’s most popular chat app which is installed on over 90% of all smartphones in the country. The exchange is operated by Dunamu Inc, the operator of Kakao’s securities trading platform called Kakao Stock.
After experiencing exponential growth, Upbit announced its achievements on Wednesday, local publications reported. “Cryptocurrency exchange Upbit ranked first in the domestic market and in the global market in the first two months of service opening,” Ajunews wrote, adding that:
Upbit showed explosive growth within a short period of time with a total membership of 1.2 million, an average daily users of 1 million and concurrent users of 300,000. The maximum daily transaction value is 10 trillion won, and the average daily transaction value for December is 5 trillion won.
Trading Volumes: Upbit vs Bithumb
Prior to Upbit’s debut, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea had been Bithumb which, according to reports, had approximately 70% of domestic market share. Bithumb supports trading of 12 cryptocurrencies while Upbit’s website currently shows trading availability for 121 coins.
Upbit’s 24-hour trading volume of bitcoin (BTC) at the time of writing is KRW1.053 trillion (~ USD975 million), according to its website, which far exceeds Bithumb’s volume of 446.623 billion won shown on Coinmarketcap.
However, Bithumb’s volumes for its other 11 coins surpass Upbit’s equivalents. Bithumb’s 24-hour trading volume for bitcoin cash (BCH) is 659.983 billion won, which is slightly ahead of Upbit’s 620.144 billion won. Ripple (XRP) has the most 24-hour trading volume on Bithumb, with 1.117 trillion won traded, beating Upbit’s 860.028 billion won. Bithumb’s 24-hour trading volume for ether (ETH) is 329.738 billion won, which also beat Upbit’s 146.051 billion won.
When including all 12 cryptocurrencies, Bithumb’s overall 24-hour trading volume is 4.511 trillion won at the time of writing. In comparison, the total volume for the same time period of Upbit’s top 22 coins is 4.515 trillion won, which already exceeds Bithum’s total volume.
Number One Free App In Korea
Upbit’s trading app has also become one of the most popular free apps in South Korea. On Wednesday, Twitter user Hyug tweeted “Upbit is now no. 1 in Korean app store.”
However, app rankings change daily. At press time, Bithumb’s app has overtaken Upbit’s as the top free app in the Korean iOS app store, leaving Upbit in the second spot.
In order to grow the platform further, Dunamu Inc announced on Wednesday that they will appoint co-founder and former CEO of Kakao Corp, Lee Seok-woo, as the new representative of Upbit, Etnews reported. Lee led the growth of Kakao Talk but resigned as CEO in November 2015 over allegations that he did not do enough to prevent the spread of minors sexting on his platform. That aside, he plans to “secure Dunamu Inc as a leader in the new financial innovation industry,” he was quoted saying.
Recently, Upbit has also been at the center of regulatory controversy since it is the only major exchange that has not joined the Korean Blockchain Association, which would require the exchange to implement self-regulatory measures. Nonetheless, Upbit has already started complying with the government’s mandates announced last week and posted notices on its website regarding the ban on minors and foreigners.
What do you think of Upbit? Would you use it? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bithumb, Kakao, Upbit, and Twitter user Hyug.
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