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Nearly 2 million S. Koreans estimated to have used cryptocurrency apps

2018/01/15 18:02

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SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 2 million South Koreans are estimated to have used cryptocurrency applications with their smartphone in the past week, data showed Monday.

A total of 1.96 million people may have used apps that allow them to handle digital currencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum, last week, up from 140,000 tallied between Oct. 30 and Nov. 5, according to data from WiseApp, an application analytics company.

Cryptocurrencies have rapidly gained popularity in recent weeks among South Korean investors hoping to make quick money, prompting the government to announce a plan to rein in the frenzy over virtual currency in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Last week, the Ministry of Justice announced that the government is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges at home.

Related to the stance taken by Seoul, the number of users at Binance, a China-based cryptocurrency exchange, jumped nearly 44 percent on-week in the wake of the announcement, the latest data showed.

The number of people who use Coinpan, an online community where users can share information about bitcoin, soared 60 percent on-week to 140,000 during the cited period, the findings showed.

khj@yna.co.kr

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