In September, South Korea surpassed China in total crypto trading volumes, and as the world’s second largest Ethereum exchange market, South Korea is evolving into an Ethereum powerhouse with a rapidly growing number of active developments, domestic projects and communities.
As CoinTelegraph reported previously, the majority of traders in the South Korean Ethereum market are speculative investors and tend to be largely influenced by any movement in the industry that could lead to a decline in Ethereum price. However, a fairly large portion of investors are avid supporters of Ethereum as a technology and an infrastructure for decentralized applications.
At the moment, ICOs seem like the largest market for Ethereum. In the upcoming years, it is likely that the performance of decentralized applications will evolve as a major factor for the market cap of Ethereum. In an interview with JoongAng, a leading finance news publication in South Korea, Buterin emphasized that it could take two to five years for Ethereum to scale to a point in which decentralized applications with millions of users can be launched and sustained.
There are many multi-billion dollar conglomerates and financial institutions in the Ethereum industry developing decentralized applications and platforms on top of the Ethereum protocol. The emergence of efficient and innovative scaling solutions will create a better environment for decentralized applications and will allow highly anticipated projects such as decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges and marketplaces to evolve.
If support and enthusiasm toward Ethereum in South Korea are sustained in the mid-term, it is highly likely that the South Korean Ethereum exchange market could evolve into an Ethereum powerhouse. As Buterin noted in the interview with JoongAng in the upcoming years, applications of Ethereum in a variety of industries will be tested and implemented.
“I would say that Ethereum’s main benefits are in its generality and in its utility to many kinds of industries. There are applications in finance, identity, supply chain tracking, health care, energy and many other areas. This is a result of Ethereum deliberately being designed as a general-purpose programming platform.”
And now, given the overnight news from South Korean regulators, it appears Ethereum has that chance...
As CoinDesk reports, the governor of a South Korean financial regulator has said it has "no plans" to supervise cryptocurrency trading, according to a report.
In remarks made to reporters today, Choe Heung-sik, chief of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), said that, since his agency does not view cryptocurrencies as "legitimate currency," the FSS does not intend to supervise trading of the digital assets.
According to a Korea Times report, Choe added the South Korean government believes that cryptocurrencies are used in speculation, not as payment tools. As a result, the watchdog considers that cryptocurrencies are not financial products, nor is trading them a financial service.
"Though we are monitoring the practice of cryptocurrency trading, we don't have plans right now to directly supervise exchanges. Supervision will come only after the legal recognition of digital tokens as a legitimate currency."
The watchdog head's comments come amid growing popularity of cryptocurrency trading in South Korea, and may have been prompted by the recent outage of major domestic exchange Bithumb, which recently experienced a technical outage that reportedly lost traders billions of won.
But his comments appear to have quelled any anxiety among speculators, as is clear by the reaction in Ethereum - the South Koreans' confidence is back...
Which leaves Ethereum solidly in 2nd place among crypto market caps...