Bitcoin has soared, doubling its value since the start of the year. Yet, intriguingly, the famed “Kimchi premium” in South Korea remains absent in this current surge of bullish activity. This is a notable deviation from previous bull markets, where the phenomenon was prominently observed. In fact, this time around, BTC prices in South Korea are trading at a discount compared to other parts of the world.

Despite the Won Ranking as the 5th Largest Bitcoin Trading Pair, South Korea Sees Unprecedented ‘Kimchi Discount’

This month, bitcoin has exhibited remarkable performance, appreciating 27.9% against the U.S. dollar. As of 10:15 a.m. EDT, BTC hovered just above the $34K mark, boasting a seven-day gain of 14.8%.

Intriguingly, during this upward trajectory, bitcoin prices on South Korea’s top crypto exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, are slightly lower. This scenario stands in stark contrast to the “Kimchi premium” observed in previous years, which typically manifested during crypto bull runs, pushing BTC’s value several hundred dollars above the global average.

At 10:15 a.m. (EDT) on October 27, 2023, bitcoin’s price on Bithumb was $190 less than the global average.

Currently, bitcoin trading is thriving in South Korea, with cryptocompare.com data revealing that BTC is the fifth largest trading pair in the country, accounting for 3.73% of all BTC’s global trades.

Despite BTC’s global trading price of $34,059 at the time of writing, it is exchanging hands at $33,902 on Upbit and approximately $33,869 on Bithumb. This translates to a $157 and roughly $190 per unit discount on Upbit and Bithumb, respectively.

Contrary to the “Kimchi premium,” where not just BTC, but also other cryptocurrencies like XRP and ETH would experience price elevations, the current discounts are uniquely impacting bitcoin’s value.

Ethereum, for example, is exhibiting a minor discount discrepancy of around $10-15 per unit. On the trading front, Bithumb recorded approximately $408 million in global trades on Friday, while Upbit saw a much higher $1.7 billion. Among Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, Upbit dominates in the country, commanding nearly 80% of South Korea’s crypto trading volume.

South Korea’s government and regulators from the country have tried to curb the “Kimchi premium” and put the trend to an end. While there is no sign of a premium, a “Kimchi discount” still brings an opportunity for arbitrage.

What do you think about the lack of the “Kimchi premium” during bitcoin’s current upswing? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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