Crypto landscape revives in Korea

South Korea’s digital evolution in the Web3 era

South Korea, known for its technological advancements, is making waves in the Web3 domain. Despite the setbacks from the Terra incident, the nation’s crypto ecosystem is showing resilience. With gaming leading the charge, the country’s digital landscape is transforming.

Korea Blockchain Week: A shift in focus

The recent Korea Blockchain Week (KBW) starkly contrasted its previous editions. The event was less about glitz and more about substance. Local gaming innovators took center stage, introducing many applications ranging from metaverse experiences to blockchain-based racing games. These applications leverage popular platforms like Ethereum, Solana, and Cosmos.

The shadow of Terra: Lessons learned

The Terra blockchain, once a darling of the Korean crypto community, faced a dramatic downfall. Its market cap soared to an impressive $40 billion before crashing. The aftermath of this event led to introspection within the industry. Hoon Kim, CTO of Astar, emphasized the shift in perspective, stating, “From the discussions I had with the major ecosystem players, it did have a huge impact that forever changed the Korean [decentralized finance, or DeFi] ecosystem for institutions.”

Korean banks and crypto: A budding relationship

Traditional financial institutions in Korea are recognizing the potential of the crypto market. A notable development was the collaboration between BitGo, a California-based crypto custodian, and South Korea’s Hana Bank. This partnership aims to explore security solutions, technological collaborations, and potential joint ventures. Furthermore, BitGo is set to aid Hana Bank in establishing crypto custody services by 2024.

Trading activity: A sign of recovery

Despite the skepticism stemming from Terra’s downfall, trading activity on local exchanges is witnessing an uptick. Jen Kim, COO of NFTBank, highlighted the resilience of the Korean market, pointing out, “The industry is fighting strong scrutiny due to Terra’s fiasco. But there’s still a good amount of trading going on.”

South Korea’s position in the global crypto scene

The global nature of the crypto industry means that regional events like Korea Blockchain Week primarily cater to a local audience. While Korea boasts a robust domestic crypto market, the global nature of cryptocurrency means there’s a single, unified market. Thus, overly localized crypto products risk becoming obsolete in the broader landscape.

South Korea’s resilient digital future

South Korea’s digital domain, especially in gaming and crypto, shows signs of robust growth and resilience. As the nation learns from past setbacks and embraces innovation, it’s poised to play a significant role in shaping the future of the Web3 era.

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