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Market value of cryptocurrencies in S. Korea spikes tenfold over 3 years

March 16, 2021 - 09:14 By Yonhap
Investors look at the electronic board of a cryptocurrency exchange in Seoul on Sunday, with the price of bitcoin surpassing 71 million won per unit at one time during the session. (Yonhap)
The market value of cryptocurrencies in South Korea has shot up nearly 10 times over the past three years amid keen investor interest, industry sources said Tuesday.

According to local cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, its market index stood at 9,742.62 points as of 5:45 p.m. Monday, almost 10 times the level of 1,000 points on Oct. 1, 2017, when the index was first calculated

The Upbit Market Index covers all cryptocurrencies traded in the exchange's won-denominated market and shows changes in the market capitalization and market trends.

The spike in the market value comes as prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have risen sharply over the cited period.

Bitcoin was trading at 66.8 million won ($59,000) per unit as of 5:45 p.m. Monday, compared with 4.96 million won three years and five months earlier.

Excluding bitcoin, which has the biggest market value and share, the local cryptocurrency market has also shown rapid growth over the past three years.

Other cryptocurrency exchanges have seen their market capitalization soar over the last three years. Bithumb's market index came to 5,655.52 as of 5:45 p.m. Monday, up 446 percent from the 1,000-point level on July 1, 2018.

Market watchers said that investor interest in cryptocurrencies has grown sharply over the years, leading to an explosive increase in cryptocurrency transactions.

The bull run in cryptocurrency transactions came as investors see the virtual currency as a relatively safe asset amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to them. (Yonhap)