On September 11thh, Coinone, South Korea’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange behind Bithumb and Korbit, launched the first offline cryptocurrency exchange in the country, enabling clients to purchase cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin through ATMs and physical products including USB drives.
In South Korea, the vast majority of investors and traders have been aware of cryptocurrencies and the exponential growth rate of bitcoin. But, many potential investors have turned away from the market due to the strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies, and complex verification processes that often require the submission of bank documents, personal identification, and face-to-face interviews.
More importantly, most investors and traders that are relatively new to the cryptocurrency market and bitcoin have continued to struggle to implement efficient methods of trading and low-risk investment strategies.
Since September, CoinoneBlocks, the physical cryptocurrency exchange of Coinone, has been serving investors in the South Korea market by assisting the investment process in a direct manner. The company has been encouraging investors and clients to visit the headquarters of CoinoneBlocks in Seoul, conduct a meeting with one of the company’s cryptocurrency analysts, and invest in bitcoin.
In the past month, CoinoneBlocks has gained significant traction in the South Korean market and the demand for its services has increased at a rapid rate. Investors that previously did not engage with the cryptocurrency market due to technical difficulties and boundaries have been able to through CoinoneBlocks.
In an interview with a South Korean finance news publication, a CoinoneBlocks customer explained that the company has assisted users in South Korea to create bitcoin wallets, engage in trading, and understand the technical intricacies of bitcoin. The 53-year-old investor stated:
“Due to the emergence of physical cryptocurrency exchanges and offline customer service operations launched by CoinoneBlocks and Bithumb, many investors in South Korea are rushing to sell their stocks and equity in public companies to invest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Since the beginning of 2017, the demand for bitcoin has increased significantly and investors have been able to build trust over the cryptocurrency exchange market through offline exchanges.”
Some high profile and large-scale investors that have engaged in cryptocurrency trading through offline exchanges have generated substantial profits over the past few months to an extent in which they were able to purchase properties and buildings in the Seoul metropolitan area with their profits.
While Bithumb, a leading South Korean bitcoin trading platform and the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, does not operate an offline exchange, it has been serving its clients through its offline customer service department. Investors and traders can visit the headquarters of Bithumb in Seoul, and request direct assistance in setting up bitcoin wallets and trading accounts to engage in cryptocurrency trading.
In September, the South Korean bitcoin and Ethereum exchange markets overtook China and Europe with large trading volumes and activities. For a long period of time, South Korea was the largest Ethereum market in the world, until the South Korean government issued a temporary ban on domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs).
A major factor of the South Korean cryptocurrency market’s growth can be attributed to the standardized services and operation of regulated cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone. In the upcoming months, the three exchanges will continue to address the growing demand for cryptocurrencies, by providing services for both casual investors and institutional traders through sufficient liquidity.