According to Bloomberg, South Korean retail investors have been increasingly engaging in digital-asset exchanges, even before the global crypto boom that led to record prices in early 2024. The number of active users on registered exchanges in the country rose by 390,000 to reach 6.45 million by the end of 2023, as per the semi-annual report on crypto-asset businesses by the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KOFIU). These users account for over 10% of the country's total population, with 99% being individual investors. Nearly 60% of these investors are aged between 30 and 40.

The daily average crypto trading volume in South Korea increased by 24% to 3.6 trillion won ($2.6 billion) during this period. Meanwhile, the total value of crypto held by registered exchanges saw a 53% surge to 43.6 trillion won. This data highlights the significant role South Korea plays in the global crypto markets. KOFIU stated that trading volume, market capitalization, operating income of exchanges, and deposits in Korean won all saw an increase due to the rise in crypto prices and recovery of investor sentiment. The number of crypto trading users also rebounded from the first half of 2023.

Despite the collapse of TerraUSD, a stablecoin created by a South Korean native, the interest in crypto trading remained high. From July, South Korean regulators will implement the Virtual Asset User Protection Act, which will impose stricter requirements on exchanges and tougher penalties for misconduct in the sector.