The South Korean government has collected the data for the first time of the total amount of fiat deposits made for cryptocurrency exchanges. The number of deposits is 64 times higher than in the previous year.
Koreans invested more than 2 Trillion Won
On January 1 the Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) collected the data on deposits made at cryptocurrency exchanges for the year 2017.
The report says:
“The balance of deposits as of December 12 last year amounted to 2.067 trillion won [~USD$1.95 trillion]. This is a 64-fold surge from 32.2 billion won [~$30.3 million] at the end of 2016. This is the first time that the total amount of deposits in the virtual money market has been confirmed.”
The publication said that the total amount of deposits in 2014 was 2.5 billion won (~$2.35 million) and it was 9 billion won (~$8.46 million) in 2015.
State-Owned vs Commercial Banks
The news outlet says, approximately 1.4 trillion won of the deposits went through state-owned banks, such as the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), while deposits totaling 743 billion won went through commercial banks last year.
However, newcomer Upbit uses IBK. This exchange is backed by Kakao Corporation, which owns the country’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk.
The publication described:
“The reason why the deposits through national banks are larger than commercial banks is that the virtual accounts that were mainly used in the Upbit business, [which] started from August last year, passed through IBK.”
Upbit is now reporting the largest 24-hour trading volume of all South Korean crypto exchanges.
Lawmakers see to act fast
Park Yong-jin, Democratic Party lawmaker and a member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, gathered the data.
“The risk of losing assets will increase if there is a problem with the exchange due to excessive funding due to the overheating of virtual currency speculation.”
“The National Assembly and the financial authorities are trying to strengthen the management and supervision of exchanges. We have to hurry.”