Will Asian Crypto Moves Leave Certain Consumers Out In The Cold?

  • Lauren deLisa Coleman
  • Crypto

All eyes following the rise of digital currency have been closely following the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s most recent visit to Capitol Hill as he testified recently about what he believes to be the importance of the company’s Libra currency to U.S. innovation. While many lawmakers continue to present a number of concerns around the launch of Libra, Zuckerberg has been firmly making the case that his company’s particular currency proposition is integral to ensuring that the U.S. captures a competitive edge in the digital currency race over Asia. But could new trends in the space already indicate a need for the U.S. to re-think positioning even more?

Zuckerberg has repeatedly alluded to Asia’s perceived lead in the digital currency space and the need for Libra as a tool to ensure America’s financial strong-hold or risk future demise. While far from a zero-sum game based solely on Libra, there is no doubt that digital currency developments, from coins to exchanges, between the two countries could be said to resemble a high-level chess match where future moves are very complex. In fact, the latest trends from Asia now seem to be global in scope in order to ensure maximum power.  

Indeed, Bithumb Global, a division of the well-known digital currency exchange Bithumb based in Korea, recently announced the launch of a global partnership titled “Mercury Program” which will connect digital asset communities around the world. The company plans to connect with traders, retail investors and blockchain enthusiasts in what Bithumb calls localized settings such as MeetUp groups and native language discussion groups and enable dialogue and innovation in the industry through such activity. The intent of this program is to ultimately start individual exchanges around the world and help spread visibility and adoption of digital assets. The goal is to change attitudes, drive specific narratives and, of course, gain greater market share in the process, particularly in the luxury purchase space.

Those in the arena say such moves could make way for a variety of different branding in every segment of digital currency and drive a better conversion rate. Bithumb says that local partners have already been recruited in India and South East Asia.

Via such endeavors, Bithumb is actually bucking previous trends a bit and will either reap the benefits or face major challenges. Within the digital asset exchange market, it has been fairly common, to date, for exchanges to cautiously expand into other regions.  However, Bithumb Global has decided to do so in a bolder more rapid manner in order to compete with Chinese and Western rivals. The company claims that since its BETA launch in May of 2019, it has already on-boarded more than one million users worldwide, and has had their daily trading volume exceeding over $381 million. “In less than half a year of trading, we believe that we have been able to offer a trading experience that matches that of the existing players in the Western market, while maintaining the flexibility of a startup with constant iterations and optimizations to the platform” Javier Sim, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Bithumb Global said in a previously released statement.

The company has undoubtedly and very publicly had its share of woes from hackers to massive losses. But Bithumb doesn’t seem deterred given the fact that the company has not only been around since 2014 but also counts as one of its major assets the fact that it has cut its teeth in a market that is, interestingly, one of the highest global per capital uses of digital currency among Millennials. With luxury items being a key interest to this demographic, brands in this space could see some very interesting shifts.

As the digital currency shift further unfolds, it seems this is a game that is best played with not only new players but more importantly, new strategies many of which are hinging more frequently upon speed, global prowess, government regulations. Watch for competition between world regions continue to drive change, fear, opportunity and innovation.