South Korea has become a hub for cryptocurrency activity, with a noticeable impact on altcoin prices. In November, Bloomberg highlighted the significant influence of South Korean investors, attributing their high-risk tendencies to a surge in altcoin prices. The market share of cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea rose from 5.2% in January to 12.9% in November, emphasizing the country’s growing prominence in the crypto space.

Upbit, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, played a crucial role in this growth. Upbit experienced an 82% increase in trading volume from September to October, reaching $59.8 billion, accounting for nearly 85% of all trading volume in Korea. According to CCData, this surge contributed to the overall rise in South Korean exchanges’ market share.

The rally for altcoins in South Korea is notable, particularly with tokens like Avalanche and Solana experiencing significant increases. Traders in South Korea, lacking access to a futures market, have shown a particular interest in altcoins. This trend has resulted in larger trade volumes in this area compared to other investment assets, as noted by crypto analytics company CryptoQuant.

Looking ahead, Bithumb, another prominent South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, plans to go public on the Kosdaq in the second half of 2025. This move, representing Korea’s first crypto IPO, is part of Bithumb’s strategy to reduce Upbit’s market share, positioning itself as a primary competitor in the evolving crypto landscape.

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