Before the crypto winter, cryptocurrencies seemingly offered everyone a chance at big gains. But many ended up losing most of what they had earned. In South Korea, a country where social and economic order is hard to shake up, many, especially millennials, viewed cryptocurrencies as a solution to bring about change, the New York Times writes. Now many face debt and losses, but most are still hopeful—cryptocurrencies still seem like the only way to break out of the hierarchy.
Traditionally, in order to succeed, you need to land a government position or a job in one of the conglomerates that control the market. However, that requires graduating from one of the top universities, which are nearly impossible to get into. Cryptocurrencies seemed like a way out—they’re not connected to any order.
That’s why cryptocurrencies caught on so quickly in Korea. The nation is so immersed in cryptocurrencies it’s legitimately entered the pop culture—there’s a game show called Block Battle where contestants aim to build a blockchain-based company.
Even now, when some have become disillusioned, South Korea ranks behind only the U.S. and Japan as the third-largest market for tokens. Just last month a trade of approximately $6.8 billion was noted by the data provider Messari. While some might say the bubble has burst, many still view cryptocurrencies as the only way to earn money and get rich.
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