Altcoins have mostly been on an uptrend for the past few months. According to the analysts at on-chain data firm CryptoQuant, South Korean traders have been found as the enablers of this rapid surge in the prices of alternate cryptocurrencies.
Traders from this country are known in the industry for their high risk-taking behaviours, which in turn results in euphoric rallies on tokens. This has also led to buying frenzies and wash trading. The latter is a manipulative technique where traders continually buy and sell the same asset to drive up volumes in order to create a false impression of market activity.
As per the data shared by CryptoQuant, spot volumes on the local exchange Upbit have nearly doubled since September. Upbit is South Korea’s largest exchange by trading volumes, constituting over 85% of the country’s trading volume.
The exchange experienced an 82% growth in October compared to September, with trading volume rising from $32.8billion to $59.8bn. These surging volumes attracted market makers and traders, who then invested profits to continue buying in a rising market.
Some of the altcoins that benefited majorly from this were Loom Network’s $LOOM and a decentralised finance protocol token called $HIFI. While the former’s price surged approximately 10 times in the last two months, the latter enjoyed a strong rally that helped it spike by 6,600% in September alone.
CryptoQuant analyst, Bradley Park, commented on this saying: “For coins that are only listed on Korean exchanges, if there is a significant increase in trading volume, listing futures on them has been popular on overseas exchanges. From an on-chain perspective, market makers are the buying power.”
In explaining how South Korea played a pivotal role in altcoin rallies, Park gave the example of how $HIFI’s reserves on Upbit rose 27.5% from 62 million tokens to 82.9 million tokens.
Upbit also took the lead in volume growth in $LOOM markets as prices surged 238% in September and another 100% in early October before reversing gains in the later half of the month.
When it comes to $HIFI, the token’s price turned lower in its rally after Binance launched perpetual futures tied to HIFI in mid-September.
Recently, reports had shed light on how Upbit has been targeted nearly 160,000 times by hackers in H1 2023. However, as per the regulatory filing made by Upbit’s parent firm Dunamu, the exchange has successfully managed to fend off these attacks.
It was found out that this figure had more than doubled from 73,249, recorded in the first half of 2022, and now stood at a whopping 159,061. This was 2.17 times the number of attempted infringements in the same time period last year. The average of the number of attacks deflected by Upbit per day in the first half of this year came to 879.
Bitcoin ($BTC), on the other hand, reigned on all exchanges throughout the world, including the ones in South Korea. The top coin’s market dominance, which is a ratio of $BTC’s capitalisation compared to the rest of the market, rose to 53% from 49% during this same time.
It therefore remained the most favoured bet among traders. The overall market capitalisation of the crypto market also took a leap from just around $1trillion at the start of September to about $1.44trn as of writing.