Key numbers and charts of Korean CEXs*



* 4 CEXs (out of 5) supporting Korean Won

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1. 2022–2023 Annual sales and market shares

  • While most of them are trying to diversify their revenue sources (via staking, NFT businesses. etc), Korean CEXs revenues are still heavily concentrated on trading commissions (above 98% of total revenues). This heavy concentration also has to do with regulations limiting their business diversification efforts (unlike foreign CEXs).
  • As such, above numbers represent their trading commission revenues and market shares during the last two years. Gross trading volume numbers might be larger for #Bithumb and #Coinone from other third-party reference sites, but you do need to consider that these volumes were probably increased post periodic zero-commission policies adopted by some of them (basically all of them except #Upbit).
  • The top two (Upbit and Bithumb) basically account for more than 98% of the total market share.
  • Upbit’s market share increased from 78% to 86% last year despite its most conservative listing policy (the lowest number of new listed projects per year).
  • Bithumb suffered the largest YoY sales decrease probably due to their zero-commission policy in 4Q23.

2. 2022–2023 CEX owned digital asset balances

  • With the overall digital assets prices recovering, digital asset balances owned by CEXs all showed YoY increases.
  • Upbit saw the largest YoY increase as its balance is heavily skewed towards BTC.
  • The above table depicts how many BTC & ETH each CEX owned during the last two years.
  • Unfortunately, Coinone did not provide breakdown for its ETH possession.
  • The above charts show Upbit’s BTC balance outweighs most other CEXs.

3. 2022–2023 CEX customers’ digital asset balances

Please click to see larger version of the image.
  • Customers’ digital asset in dollar terms deposited in each CEXs also increased dramatically helped by overall price appreciation.
Please click to see larger version of the image.
  • Customers’ BTC balance was roughly 73%/19%/4.2%/3.8% at the end of last year in the following order: Upbit / Bithumb / Coinone / Korbit.
  • Customers’ ETH balance was roughly 72% / 18% / 5.8% / 4.4% for the same period and same order (surprisingly similar to BTC allocation across CEXs).

4. 2022–2023 CEX customers’ fiat deposit on CEXs

  • All CEXs mentioned in this post support Korean Won fiat trading pairs.
  • Except for Coinone, retail’s KRW deposit on all CEXs increased (this typically occurs during bull markets).
  • Bithumb showed the largest inflow with +46% YoY growth (probably propelled by its zero-commission policy in 4Q23).

5. 2022–2023 CEX cash and cash equivalent balances

  • Above table shows how much cash and cash equiv. each CEX owned at the end of 2022 and 2023.
  • Despite posting losses, Bithumb showed the largest YoY increase which was the result of cash inflow from disposal of certain assets.
  • Coinone and Korbit posted YoY decreases as they were unprofitable.

Written by Eric Yoo (Co-founder of Trinito) and contributions from Jiyon Kim (Associate at Trinito).

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This is not investment advice and is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other materials as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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