Nearly three out of every ten employees in the country have put their money in virtual currency, saying it is the easiest and fastest way to make money.
According to a recent study, conducted by an online employment website Saramin, 31,3% of salaried people in South Korea invested in digital currency, with the average amount of investments amounting to 5,66 million won.
Overall, 941hired workers participated in the poll, with around 80% of respondents are in their 20s or 30s.
Among the people surveyed, 44.1% said they invested less than 1 million won, whilst 18.3% confirmed they spent from 1 to 2 million won. Around 9,8% of respondents claimed they invested between 2 and 4 million won and 7,8% spent 4-6 million on cryptocurrencies. Meantime, 12,9% of people answered that they invested over 10 million won.
As far as the reasons for contributing money to digital currency, 54.2% of respondents said it is the fastest and quickest way of earning money, while 47.8% said it is easy to start investing in them even with a small sum of money. And while the majority of surveyed (80,3%) said they managed to profit from their investment, 6,4% said they lost their money and 13,2% even went bankrupt. 19.4% of those who gained income made more than 100%, while 21.1% said their income was more than 10%.
The results of the survey don’t look surprising given South Korea is now one of the largest cryptocurrency markets after Japan and the US. It is the base for three of the globe’s leading exchanges and is accounting for over 20% of the world bitcoin trading volume.
In view of the growing popularity of bitcoin, South Korean authorities are getting more concerned about the future impact of digital currency. The country’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon has recently warned on the danger of trading in bitcoin, saying it could push young Koreans into criminal activities like drug dealing or pyramid schemes and urged government agencies to work on these issues.
“There are cases in which young Koreans including students are jumping in to make quick money and virtual currencies are used in illegal activities like drug dealing or multi-level marketing for frauds,” he said, according to CNBC. “This can lead to serious distortion or social pathological phenomena, if left unaddressed,”
The government representatives in South Korea have been discussing the possibility of imposing further regulations for cypto exchanges this month due to growth of trading activity in the country. A few days ago, they conducted a meeting to review the plan to impose taxes on investment returns, as a move to prevent the risk of excessive speculation, and oblige exchanges to strengthen security and provide order volumes.
Yesterday, the authorities have announced new rules for trading platforms, including ban on registering anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and a new legislation to enable regulators shut down exchanges if necessary.