Bitcoin Retail FOMO Brings a Heap of ‘Kimchi Premium’ to S. Korea

Bitcoin Retail FOMO Brings a Heap of ‘Kimchi Premium’ to S. Korea


The “kimchi premium” has returned.

Price premiums for bitcoin on South Korean exchanges have hit two-year highs, indicating retail investment interest in cryptocurrencies is surging in that country. However, analysts and traders warn that certain market players could take advantage of arbitrage opportunities, resulting in short-term price volatility.

The “kimchi premium,”  named for a popular Korean pickled side dish, also helps to explain why bitcoin prices drop during Asia’s trading hours – some traders sell bitcoin at higher prices on South Korea-based crypto exchanges.

As of press time, bitcoin’s “kimchi premium,” as quantified by the difference in prices between South Korean’s upbit exchange and Binance, was at 4.15%, or 1,444,941 won (approximately $1328.97), according to real-time exchange data-tracking site scolkg.com. Such a mark-up in prices has not been seen since early 2018.

Data from blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant also shows the price gap between Korean exchanges and the

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