There was a x7.7 spike in the number of customer complaints lodged against South Korea’s four biggest crypto exchanges last year as citizens in the nation are embracing crypto like never before. Meanwhile, crypto mining is also on the rise.
Yonhap reported that the data on complaints was submitted by the Korea Consumer Agency to the offices of the MP Lee Joo-hwan of the opposition People’s Strength Party.
The data shows that a total of 232 formal consumer complaints were lodged to the agency last year from customers of the four exchanges – Upbit, Coinone, Korbit and Bithumb.
That number is a massive rise from just 24 cases in 2019 and 30 cases in 2020. Most of the complaints were lodged against Coinone (130 cases), followed by Upbit with 74 cases, Bithumb with 17 cases and Korbit with 11 cases.
Lee, a part of the National Assembly’s Committee on Small and Medium Ventures, was quoted as complaining:
“Even though crypto-related consumer damage is increasing every year, there is virtually no protection provided for [crypto] users.”
However, the rise in complaints may have something to do with the fact that the four trading platforms’ user bases ballooned last year. By the end of 2021, a combined 12.02m customers – over 23% of the population – had opened wallets at the four trading platforms.
The worth of combined daily transaction figures for the four exchanges, the media outlet noted, had hit the USD 3.4bn mark.
Also, despite the fact that the national energy firm last year increased electricity prices for the first time in eight years, the number of people now mining crypto in the country also rose.
While just 28 shipments of mining rigs were reported in 2020, that figure rose to 453 shipments in 2021. Although this represents a mere drop in the bucket in the global mining picture, it indicates that home mining is on the rise in the nation – a country where conventional energy resources are almost non-existent.
The figures showed that since the body began compiling data in 2017, home miners have spent over USD 50.2m on rig imports.
Lee called for the government to respond with “urgent countermeasures” for crypto miners – likely higher rates for those running home mining setups.
“The electricity bills of people running virtual currency mining machines are three to four times higher than those of ordinary households.”
– Crypto Exchanges in 2022: More Services, More Compliance, and Competition
– Bitcoin & Crypto Mining in 2022: New Locations, Technologies, and Bigger Players
– Dominated by Institutions, Bitcoin Mining is also Possible from Home