SEOUL, March 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Online cryptocurrency services have come a long way since recording fewer than a million visitors per month early last year. Thanks to soaring valuations of bitcoin and other currencies starting in August, the once unheralded sector’s web traffic has surged since then, welcoming 5.09 million visitors in January according to Nielsen Koreanclick.
The online market research firm tracked the web traffic of cryptocurrency, stock trading and bank services in January. Internet stock trading services and banks received 7.76 million and 27.68 million visits, respectively.
Based on Nielsen Koreanclick’s findings, the 5.09 million cryptocurrency service visitors came in at 65.6 percent of the number of web visits to stock trading sites. Monthly average visit duration was another category where the former was found to be catching up to the latter at 409 minutes compared to 428 minutes.
Banks registered a relatively low 79 minutes.
While over half (53.3 percent) of the main user base for cryptocurrency services were in their 20s and 30s, the core patrons of stock trading and bank services were the middle-aged or elderly.
Among the cryptocurrency services, Bithumb had the most visitors in January with 3.33 million. Trailing were Upbit (2.71 million), Coinone (700,000), Coinnest (510,000) and Korbit (500,000).
Despite boasting the most visitors, Bithumb with an average monthly visit duration of 125 minutes fell far behind Upbit’s 498 minutes.
Nielsen Koreanclick explained that Upbit’s wider selection of offerings, including non-mainstream new coins, was the reason people spent more time there rather than on Bithumb, which primarily deals in the major currencies.
Meanwhile, regarding the future of the infamously volatile cryptocurrency market, the tech industry is divided between those who believe it to be a passing craze and others who consider the mainstream integration of blockchain-based digital currencies to be a question of when, not if.
CEO Pyo Cheol-min of Chain Partners said that it appears cryptocurrency is being accepted as a legitimate form of asset by the global financial services sector, pointing out financial information website www.investing.com, a source many South Korean fund managers rely on, created a section wholly devoted to cryptocurrency last year.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)