Why can't I fly out to Korea, open a Korean bank account, and then use that to open an account on a Korean exchange, so that I can buy btc on a US exchange, send it to an address for my Korean exchange account, sell that for Korean dollars, exchange the Korean dollars for USD at the current exchange rate, and then use those USD to buy more crypto?
If prices are higher on Korean exchanges then this seems like such an easy thing to do. What's the catch?
This. I actually have a Korean bank account (I've lived there for 6 years). It's hard to get money out of there because of the anti-money laundering regulations. I can't even use my Korean debit card to make purchases on overseas website. t. $20k locked in a Korean account since I left the country 2 years ago.
why not buy btc with that money and then sell it on another country's exchange?
You probably can't open a bank account without a visa. You don't have a korean internet ID number. You don't have a korean phone for 2fa.
My wife is Korean and because she lives in the states she can't open a fucking coinone account.
Buy expensive BTC from a Korean exchange, send to a foreign exchange where BTC is much cheaper and sell. Congratulations, you now have less money than you started with.
>sell that for Korean dollars, exchange the Korean dollars for USD at the current exchange rate, and then use those USD to buy more crypto
This is where you have your problem. If you managed to set up an account on a Korean exchange, once you have sold your coins for Korean won, you then have to a) buy USD in Korea and then b) get the USD out of Korea so you can use it to buy on a non-Korean exchange. Korea has extremely strict laws about money leaving the country and each citizen is restricted to taking a maximum of about 20k out a year. Anything more than that would have to be smuggled out illegally somehow. So you could either take advantage of one 20k arbitrage possibility each year or become a smuggler. But if you're going to become a smuggler there are better things o smuggle. This is precisely why the price discrepancies exist with Korea, because the normal ways for smoothing out market prices don't work due to the semi-closed nature of their economy.
Because I can't use my Korean debit card to buy bitcoin on foreign websites. The only thing I can do is increase my KRW stack on my Korean bank account. Which would be nice if I still lived in Korea, but I don't.