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Why Have South Koreans Bought $19M in Gold From Vending Machines in 2023?
J. Kim

As I lived in Asia for over 15 years, I’m still very much plugged into the gold/silver news network over there with many voices on the ground updating me about the increasingly diverging opinion of gold/silver between citizens of many Asian nations (Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam and Thailand are some nations in which I have ears on the ground) and citizens in the West. There has always been a massive divergence in opinion on gold/silver investments between Asia and the West, but this divergent gap has been widening as of late. 

If you’re a Top Supporter or Benefactor2 level skwealthacademy patron, click the above image (after logging in to Patreon) to listen to the full podcast above. Also ensure you listen to the bonus patreon podcast I provided to you yesterday, which I believe will serve you extremely well in making the right decisions about PM assets today.

Ignorance of Professors Regarding Sound Money Principles

In South Korea, the latest craze has been buying gold bars from vending machines, though gold bar dispensing machines first appeared in 2010 in Abu, Dhabi, UAE. Despite taking 13 years for South Korea to catch up, for the first nine-months of 2023, GS retail stores in South Korea have reported $19,000,000 in gold bar sales to retail customers, with the most popular bar a 0.13 troy ounce bar that is approximately $250 at current prices. 

Unlike the perception gold has in the West as an “old person’s” investment, the majority of South Korean buyers are in their 20s and 30s. Gold has always been money with all Asians, both young and old, though the banking cartel in nations in the West has been extremely successful in positioning gold as a “barbarous relic” only suitable for people in their 70s or above while promoting BTC as the go to investment for those in their 20s and 30s. Of course, mainstream media financial analysts have marginalized this South Korean gold bar buying spree as a fad that will fade over time among the young, as buying gold from vending machines is just the “cool thing” to do at the moment.  Even South Korea Inha University Professor Lee Eun-hee recently displayed her ignorance of sound money principles and the reasons why young adults in South Korea are turning to gold to preserve the purchasing power of their savings when asked about the $19M in sales of gold from vending machines this year:

"But a gold bar purchased at a convenience store seems more like something done for fun than as a means for serious investment. I believe the popularity of these gold bars is mainly due to their easy accessibility, at convenience stores no less.”

The Ignorance of Bank of Korea Regarding Sound Money Principles

Despite the global currency system being on the verge of a game-changing shift due to every non-NATO nation expressing a desire to escape the boot of USD hegemony in stifling their national economies, and movements away from the Belgium SWIFT system and USDs in international trade, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has expressed a desire not to increase the paltry 1.14% of overall reserves it holds in gold and to remain committed to the USD, likely due to its NATO ties and commitment to the Military Industrial Banking complex over the well-being of its own citizens.

Bank of Korea could have doubled the purchasing power of its cash reserves by buying gold in 2018

As an example of BOK bankers’ complete lack of understanding of the purchasing power preservation properties (PPPP) of gold, when recently questioned as to why they have not purchased any more gold reserves since 2014 (despite gold plummeting in USD price to $1,167 in late 2018 and presenting an enormous buying opportunity), BOK governor Rhee Chang-yong stated, "The main reason that the BOK hasn't increased its gold holdings since 2014 was because the price of gold had fallen further and remained at a low level.” Apparently Mr. Chang-yong does not understand basic Investing101 principles of buy low, sell high.

Let me tell you what I told my patrons on 25 August 2018 when gold and silver were both plummeting in price in the synthetic paper markets. All patrons can document my statements in the above podcast, that is still published on my patreon platform.

In the above podcast, though gold and silver sentiment was so bleak I even titled my podcast, “Is Gold a Dead Asset?” to reflect the consensus narrative at that time. I specifically stated back then that gold would find a bottom at about $1,150 and silver at about $14.50. Furthermore, I did not state these bottom price predictions on 25 August 2018, but for weeks prior to that date. In that 2018 podcast, I stated that everyone that sold gold and silver at these prices, at which “an embarrassment of negative sentiment about gold” and “historic negative sentiment”existed, would regret that huge mistake, as that specific time, in my very strong assessment, presented “historically underpriced prices at which to buy gold and silver”.  I further stated in that podcast, as calling exact bottoms is a very difficult task, that even if a turnaround in gold and silver prices did not happen by the end of August, it would happen in early September. Again, every single one of my patrons can confirm that these were my exact statements in August of 2018 as it is still published on my patreon platform today.

Though gold had already put in its bottom at $1,167 by then (my $1,150 predicted low was only off by $17), silver had not yet, and reached its low of $13.95 on 11 September 2018. In regard to my predicted silver low occurrence, my predicted date was spot on, though I underestimated how low silver would drop with my $14.50 predicted low price. But even had one bought on my prediction of “historically low” gold and silver prices, prices that I stated would not be available in future years, silver skyrocketed to more than double that price over the next two years.

What If the Bank of Korea Followed My Guidance in August 2018 Instead of Staying Committed to the Western Military Industrial Banking (MIB) Complex Agenda?

In any event, had BOK Governor Rhee Chang-yong taken my guidance in my 25 August 2018 podcast, the price of gold in Korean won was 1,300,038 KRW (won) per troy ounce. As of the writing of this sentence on 21 June 2023, the price of gold in Korean won (KRW) is 2,483,910 per troy ounce, a 91.06% price appreciation in KRW, had he made the correct decision to increase the BOK’s paltry 1.14% of South Korean reserves to physical gold instead of staying committed to the USD since 2014. And how has his decision, against my guidance to convert fiat into physical gold on 25 August 2018 as a “historical” opportunity to buy gold turned out? 

The KRW (Korean Won) has fallen in purchasing power by 15.53% against the USD, so his decision to hold tight on the USD versus buying gold with massive USD reserves has been a 91.06% reduction in purchasing power gaffe. And despite this gaffe, even with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, incredibly the Western Military Industrial Banking complex has such a stranglehold on BOK financial policies, that even with this realization, the BOK reiterated this month, their commitment to the USD over gold. Unfortunately, Korean citizens, I must inform you that your Central Bankers will drive your nation into financial ruin if they don’t change their backward, short-sighted policies. The Bank of Korea governors and board members lacked an astonishing lack of foresight in executing strategies last 2018 that could have nearly doubled the purchasing power of the bulk of their cash reserves (and will double later this year, in my opinion, had they followed my guidance). Instead, they fully bought into the “gold is dead” narrative back then and only tracked gold’s price in USD, as it is blared to the entire world, instead of assessing how gold prices in KRW would fare moving forward. And despite their massive mistake, they are further compounding their massive mistake by exemplifying these two beliefs of Carl Sagan’s:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this. If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” (It is clear the BOK was bamboozled back in 2018 into holding USD over gold, but they are doubling down on their mistake today).

“If we can't think for ourselves, if we're unwilling to question authority, then we're just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.” (Most people today think Central Bankers make all decisions. They do not. The financial policies they blindly execute without question come from orders of the Western Military Industrial Banking complex.)

And what about now, when sentiment in gold and silver is once again very low, especially in gold/silver mining stocks due to their poor performance thus far this year (as both the HUI and GDX are basically flat for the year)? Again, my guidance moving forward about all gold/silver assets in my above 2018 podcast mirrors, more or less, my guidance right now, so go listen to all 23 minutes at this lin if you're a patron and have access to it. I truly believe that listening to this podcast in full will keep you on the proper investment track in today’s environment. And if you don’t, there is enough substance within this article to prevent you from being fooled by the shenanigans occurring in gold and silver markets right now. Don't make the same mistake that many gold/silver investors made in 2018 by divesting of all their physical holdings at historical bottoms.


 J. Kim is the founder and Managing Director of skwealthacademy, a decade long passion project that is comprised of a complete online academy of 20 courses that specifically address 9 identified pillars of education absent in modern academic classrooms today. Though skwealthacademy was set to launch in April 2020, J. Kim was caught in the pandemic travel lockdown and has been stuck in travel purgatory since the end of March 2020 and this is the reason for the delay of the skwealthacademy launch. All articles such as this one are only possible because of the support of our patrons. Many blessings to all new and future patrons that support us. Please consider becoming a patron at where you can receive further patron only content such as investment tips and analysis every week and bonus extra podcasts every month!

Among the elements critical to education, largely absent from academic classrooms, that we are intent on returning to the educational process through our online skwealthacademy are (1) an immediate restoration of critical thinking development, (2) an immediate return to corporate ethics that is now largely absent in the largest corporations in the world; (3) understanding of the differences between unsound fiat currencies and sound money, and how this misunderstanding contributes to the persistence of many of the world’s great suffering in the form of global poverty and hunger; and (4) the identification of life purpose to replace widespread materialistic pursuits that have created and spread elevated levels of loneliness, anxiety and opioid dependence in developed nations all around the world.  Follow me on IG: skwealthacademyand Twitter: skwealthacademy  and YouTube:skwealthacademy podcast, and receive news about the impending launch of skwealthacademy. Sign up for my weekly newsletter by visiting my news site at my podcast at

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