• Icon’s ICX gains 70% after a crypto-friendly candidate wins the South Korean presidential election

  • Tokens of the popular South Korean project Icon have increased by up to 70% in the last 24 hours following the election of Yoon Suk-yeol as the country’s president.

    The ICX token of the project rose from a low of $0.61 on Wednesday to more than $1.04 on Thursday morning before retracing some of the gains.

    The price is still 92 percent lower than the 2018 top of $13.

    If the current buying pressure is not sustained, the token may fall below a support level of $0.70, according to price charts.

    ICX is a well-known project whose protocol allows different blockchains to exchange data with one another.

    It was one of the top performers during the 2017 initial coin offering craze before falling out of favor with investors in the years that followed.

    Data reveal that tens of millions of ICX are exchanged everyday on the South Korean exchange UpBit.

    On Wednesday, however, the ICX/Korean won trade pair witnessed almost $410 million in volume.

    UpBit reported total trading volumes of more over $4 billion, more than double the $1.8 billion exchanged on Sunday.

    Other projects with ties to Korea suffered similar price increases.

    Terra, which began in South Korea, saw the price of its LUNA tokens reach an all-time high of $103 in early Asian hours.

    As previously reported, gains in LUNA were also fueled by strong demand for sister cryptocurrency terraUSD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin tethered to the US dollar.

    Yoon, a former senior prosecutor, promised to de-regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

    As previously reported, both he and his opponent, Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Liberal Party, unveiled crypto-friendly policies in an effort to win over younger voters.

    Yoon has committed to raise the planned KRW 52.4 million (US$42,450) threshold for the 20% capital-gains tax on bitcoin revenues.

    This is greater than the current KRW 2.5 million level, which will be implemented in 2023.

    He also stated that he will “take legal actions to collect cryptocurrency income obtained through unlawful means and refund them to the victims.”

    The current government, led by President Moon Jae-in, has cracked down on cryptocurrency in South Korea, which has become one of the most important markets for the asset class due to its young, tech-savvy populace.

    Regulatory constraints forced the closure of 70 Korean exchanges last year, leaving only a handful open as of Thursday.

    According to analysts, similar price volatility is to be expected as countries warm up to the industry.

    “This week has been seen by many to be a positive turning point for the crypto and digital assets market,” said James Wo, founder of crypto fund DFG, in a Telegram message.

    “With [two] global leaders, the United States and South Korea, signaling their intent to work on analyzing and educating themselves to embrace a technological advancement that has grown to have a market cap of close to $2 trillion with few to no safeguards, the market is reacting with high expectations.”

    “As major jurisdictions adopt similar approaches, we could see significant upside volatility,” Wo said.

    What's your reaction?