• Solid majorities of Korean university students a) positively view cryptocurrency as an investment asset and b) have invested in crypto.
  • This suggests crypto has a bright future in Korea.
  • University students like cryptocurrency because of its high yields and low entry barriers.
  • University students really like local exchange UPbit – over 80% of university crypto investors use it.
  • DeFi has yet to catch on, though given how new it is, perhaps this is to be expected.

Cryptocurrency has a very bright future in South Korea, if a recent poll of university students is anything to go by.

Some 2,502 Korean university students took part in a survey on cryptocurrency conducted by Coindesk Korea on Everytime, a community and scheduling app for university students, from late June to early July.

The survey found that 63.1% of students view crypto as an investment product, much like traditional assets such as stocks, funds and real estate. 

On the other hand, 20.8% of respondents associated cryptocurrency with scams and fraud, whereas 11.4% said they have no plans to invest and 4.7% said that they have limited knowledge of cryptocurrency.

So how many have actually invested in crypto?

A lot, as it would turn out.

A whopping 68% of students said they have previously invested or are currently investing in cryptocurrency. 

The survey found that students who see potential in crypto are more likely to invest, with 82% doing so. Of those students, 36.2% have invested over KRW 3 million in crypto, while just 9% invested less than KRW 100,000. 

Even more surprisingly, 74% of students who said they negatively perceive cryptocurrency have invested in it.

A perfect investment for the young

Of the students who have previously invested in cryptocurrency, 48.9% said crypto yields higher returns than other investments. 

Some 27% said they like investing in cryptocurrency as it requires little initial capital compared to stocks and funds, making it a perfect investment for college students.

However, like all investments, there are winners and losers.

The survey found that 54% of students who invested in cryptocurrency made money, whilst 44% lost money.

UPbit: the Korean university student’s exchange of choice

Coindesk Korea also asked students who have invested in crypto which exchanges they use. 

No less than 89.4% of students answered that they use UPbit, a Korean exchange. Another 23.3% said that they use Bithumb, while 29.8% said they use overseas exchanges such as Binance.

DeFi has yet to fully catch on, however.

Only 2.2% of student investors said they use decentralized exchanges (DeFi), despite the rising popularity of such exchanges.