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S Korea: Major Exchanges Still Making Profits

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Business appears to be still profitable for South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges after the three biggest platforms in the nation disclosed their earnings for the first half of 2018. The news comes in spite of a market downturn in the country that began in late January and has yet to show any meaningful signs of improvement.

Source: iStock/Cn0ra

But per news outlet Seoul Finance, major exchanges’ earnings are still looking healthy: Large platforms posted combined net profits of just under USD 89 million.

A financial report from one of market leader Bithumb’s major shareholders revealed that the exchange has already accrued some USD 35 million in profits so far this year – despite having been hit with a triple blow this year of a major hack, tumbling prices and hefty tax bills.

The figure means that even though Bithumb is unlikely to exceed its record-breaking USD 380 million net profit haul of 2017, the company still finds itself firmly in the black, regardless of all of the setbacks the year has brought so far.

Bithumb’s biggest rival Upbit also appears in rude financial health – despite being hit with a fraud wrap earlier this summer. Per figures unveiled in a recent financial report issued by its parent company, the internet giant Kakao Group, Dunamu (Upbit’s operator) has made USD 97.4 million in net profits so far this year. Although this figure also includes Dunamu’s other business areas, including blockchain platforms and other fintech services. Dunamu posted a net income of USD 170 million in 2017.

There was also news for the chasing pack. Yello Mobile, the majority shareholder of Dayli Financial Group, which owns the Coinone exchange, has also recently posted its semi-annual report. According to the report, Coinoine’s revenues for the first half of the year stand at just under USD 6 million. Coinone made USD 73 million in revenue in 2017.

Meanwhile, global revenue generated from crypto exchanges could more than double to as much as USD 4 billion this year even amid the collapse in the prices of digital assets, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts, Bloomberg reported this August.