Trading volumes of XRP tokens against the Korean won hit $2.5 billion on South Korean exchange UpBit in the past 24 hours, the highest among counterparts, in a sign of speculative frenzy.
This was more than 50% of the total trading volumes on UpBit in that period. Data shows market depth stood at nearly $5 million as of Asian morning hours, suggesting ample liquidity for the tokens as a $5 million buy or sell order would move the tokens only 2% on the exchange. Such liquidity is usually under $1 million, historical data shows.
The surge came as a U.S. court ruled the sale of XRP on exchanges did not constitute investment contracts. XRP rose as much as 96% following the court order before giving back gains on Friday morning.
Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) usually account for the majority of the trading activity on UpBit, which makes the XRP volume surge an anomaly. Overall, ten South Korean exchanges turned billions of dollars worth of XRP - contributing to a significant part of the $13 billion in volumes across global exchanges.
Crypto exchange Binance, in comparison, traded a relatively lesser $2.2 million, CoinGecko data shows.
In crypto circles, South Korean traders are known for pushing euphoric rallies on tokens. The so-called Kimchi Premium originates from the region – where prices of bitcoin on local exchanges can trade at a premium of as much as 30% compared to international counterparts, driven by local demand.
However, some of that volume may be attributable to wash trading, a manipulative technique where traders continually buy and sell the same asset to drive up volumes in order to create a false impression of market activity.
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