Executives at top South Korean crypto exchanges Bithumb, Korbit, and Hanbitco believe that market conditions will be brighter in 2020 than this year.

Speaking in a panel discussion at a conference held in Seoul, all three executives emphasized that there will be a new kind of demand for crypto in the following year and it will come from institutional investors and millennials.

Bithumb director of new business and partnerships Seonil Moon said, in a statement translated by Decrypt, “Based on internal research, global institutional investors included crypto assets in their portfolios in 2019 as a test and the results were satisfactory. In 2020, institutional investors will move beyond testing and will start to create new demand for crypto.”

Bithumb director of new business and partnership Seonil Moon says that institutional investors will create new demand for crypto in 2020. Image: Shutterstock.

Korbit head of business development Jung Seok-moon added that, alongside institutional investors, the entrance of millennials into the crypto market will lead to increased demand in the long-term.

“According to a report from Charles Schwab, millennials chose Grayscale's Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) as the fifth choice of retirement fund portfolio asset. It means millennials are seeing bitcoin as a real asset,” Jung said.

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Hanbitco COO Wonho Heo emphasized that South Korea has seen major improvements regarding regulation throughout 2019. He said, “Now, through institutionalization [and better regulation], it has become possible for honest exchanges and blockchain projects to grow. 2020 will be a year that sees higher quality projects and industry expansion.”

The government of South Korea has started to move towards complying with the standards laid out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a watchdog of the G7, creating clearer regulatory frameworks.

Generally, industry executives are optimistic on the movement of the government of South Korea to regulate the cryptocurrency sector, as well as the growth of leading markets like the US.

As the industry evolves with stricter regulatory frameworks in place, local industry executives state that it will be more difficult for uninnovative and dishonest exchanges and projects to thrive, creating a cleaner environment for users.

Decrypt previously reported that Japanese cryptocurrency exchange executives are also optimistic that the introduction of new crypto policies in April 2020 will boost the local industry.