Bitcoin Cash Trading at a Huge Premium in South Korea

Bitcoin vs. bitcoin cash

The value of bitcoin cash (BCH) surged over the weekend, with South Korean exchanges offering the virtual currency at a huge premium compared to the global average. According to CCN, the gains have been largely driven by mainstream media coverage of early bitcoin investor Roger Ver, who gave a favorable outlook on BCH.

Bitcoin Cash’s Large Premium in South Korea

The price of bitcoin cash diverged sharply on the global exchanges, with South Korea’s Bithumb offering the cryptocurrency at a 30% premium. On Sunday, BCH briefly surpassed $3,800 on Bithumb, with prices last seen hovering around $3,780.

Globally, the cryptocurrency was trading at around $2,600 for a daily gain of 10%.

At $2,600, bitcoin cash has a total market cap of around $48 billion. Transactions in the virtual currency amounted to $1.7 billion over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

Meanwhile, the value of original bitcoin was down on Sunday following a brief stint at two-week highs. The BTC/USD exchange rate fell more than 4% to $15,930.

Roger Ver Chines In

Prominent bitcoin supporter Roger Ver recently conducted an interview with the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), one of South Korea’s most prominent telecommunications networks. The segment appeared on one of the network’s most popular shows, which usually garners more than one million viewers. This prompted a flurry of other media outlets to cover bitcoin cash, thereby triggering a sharp increase in buying interest on South Korean exchanges.

Last month, Ver told CNBC that bitcoin miners may soon shift their processing power over to BCH if the offshoot becomes more popular. He recommended that investors hold their bitcoin on an exchange so they can be sold immediately for more BCH tokens should a large-scale exodus occur.

Ver’s advice runs contrary to what he’s been telling investors for years: not to hold cryptocurrency on exchanges that are vulnerable to security breaches. Morgan Stanley has estimated that more than $630 million worth of bitcoin has been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges.

South Korea remains one of the hottest markets for cryptocurrency in general and bitcoin cash in particular. As of Sunday, roughly one-quarter of BCH transactions were made against the South Korean won. Bithumb processed nearly one-fifth of total transactions, with Coinoine and Korbit accounting for a smaller share.

Europe-based HitBTC was also a major center for bitcoin cash transactions, facilitating 15% of all trades via BCH/BTC.

South Korea’s major crypto exchanges are ramping up their hiring and retention efforts to account for the large influx of traders.  Local news agencies SBS and KBS have reported that the exchanges are adding more employees than the traditional financial sector, signaling renewed confidence in the digital currency asset class.

The hiring frenzy will ease some concerns that South Korea’s market is winding down following the government’s recent regulatory crackdown. Last month, the South Korean government initiated a series of regulatory reforms to stamp out speculation from the major crypto exchanges.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi