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Bitcoin Demand in South Korea Rises as Trade Volume Hits Monthly High

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As demand returns to the markets South Korea is once again leading the way for trade volume. Bitcoin recorded a monthly high trading volume on exchanges in the country as fears of clampdowns subside and confidence returns to the crypto markets.

Local media reported that domestic Bitcoin trading volume reached a maximum value in the month following the holiday season. Over $250 million has been traded in BTC on South Korea’s leading exchange Bithumb in the past 24 hours.

New Bitcoin Trade Volume High

The recorded volume on the 19th was the largest in a month indicating a steady return to crypto trading for South Koreans. Over 84,979 Bitcoins were traded at a value of 1.24 trillion won. This is higher than the last peak level on January 20 when 80,829 BTC were traded. The surge rose more than half of the 16 day trading volume of 42,094 Bitcoins two days ago, and the 17 day trading volume was only 58,329 coins. The Kimchi premium, which shows overheating in the domestic market, also stood at around 6-7%.

During the big dip on February 6 Bitcoin prices fell lower in South Korea than elsewhere however it has since doubled in less than two weeks. Transaction volume has increased with the inflating price and a lot of investors got in at a psychologically significant 10 million won price level ($9,300). Positive conclusions from crypto conferences in the US, and self-regulatory bodies being setup in Japan, has boosted buoyancy in the markets and traders are returning.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $11,420 on Bithumb, and $10,800 internationally. There are often discrepancies in prices on Asian exchanges as demand is greater. The fact that a new volume level has been reached is a positive indicator for the state of the markets in general, South Korea is once again leading the way back to full confidence in cryptocurrencies.

According to Coinmarketcap Bithumb is the world’s fifth largest exchange with over a billion dollars in daily trade for all crypto assets. Ripple is currently the top traded coin on the exchange with over $300 million traded in XRP/KRW in the past 24 hours. It accounts for 30% of the total volume on that exchange with Bitcoin second at 24% and EOS third at 12.5%.

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Bitcoin Price Will Double by End of 2018, Says Researcher

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Analysts all over the world remain divided on the Bitcoin price topic. This currency’s value will likely soar to $25,000 in the next twelve months, say several respected analysts.

What Comes Next for the Bitcoin Price?

Bitcoin and other similar currencies have seen a major price drop in early 2018. Most markets lost nearly 50% of their value in a matter of weeks. Many people assume this is the end for cryptocurrency as we know it. True aficionados are not too bothered by this yearly cycle. Tone Vays, a New York-based analyst and consultant, remains positive about the future Bitcoin price.

In Vays’ opinion, Bitcoin will recover sooner rather than later. He is not too sure how high the value will go when the markets start to stabilize again. Reaching six-digit figures will prove to be virtually impossible at this stage. A more “modest” Bitcoin price of $25,000 by year’s end is in Vays’ books right now. Ronnie Moas, another famous Bitcoin enthusiasts, thinks along the same lines. His prediction puts the Bitcoin price at $28,000 at some point throughout 2018.

That optimism is not shared by everyone in the industry. James Rickards, strategic director at financial analytics firm Meraglim, is extremely bearish. Having a more balanced view from both sides of the spectrum is always needed. According to Rickards, the current valuation of Bitcoin is still far too high. Given the speculative nature of this cryptocurrency, it is evident the markets can swing in either direction. Rickards added :

“I don’t know how anybody could set and justify a price target that high for this year. I think bitcoin is going to go to $200. The only residual use is for criminals, and it will keep grinding down.”

Bitcoin Futures and South Korea

Speaking of interest in Bitcoin, there are some positive signs as well. We see a growing interest in Bitcoin futures offered by CME. Their volume for February 2018 currently sits at 1,101. It is the second-highest number for this week, indicating people have high expectations for the Bitcoin price moving forward. CBOE, on the other hand, has seen a volume of 4,225. These numbers are still low, but a definite improvement compared to a few weeks ago. The five-day average volume for both companies is rising. That won’t automatically translate to a higher Bitcoin price, though.

Last but not least, things are moving along in South Korea again. After a few rough weeks, the premium price for Bitcoin is increasing. This is often the result of lower market liquidity and people being forced to pay more per BTC. Bithumb and Upbit trade Bitcoin at nearly $11,400. The Western world trades $900 to $1,000 lower as of right now. This discrepancy has been present before as well. When it happened previously, the global value per Bitcoin soared to $19,000. History may very well repeat itself in this regard.

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South Korea Won’t ban Cryptocurrencies but Crack Down on Illicit Activty

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It seems another cryptocurrency shakeup will happen in South Korea. With exchanges imposing self-regulation, an interesting precedent is created. The government now wants to crack down on any illegal and unfair activity in this industry. This also means there will be no ban on cryptocurrencies whatsoever. It is another positive change to further legitimacy cryptocurrency in the country.

There is still a fair amount of illicit activity in the cryptocurrency industry. Addressing this problem will not be easy whatsoever. In South Korea, the government wants to focus on transparency for this industry first and foremost. Additionally, they want to remove the illicit activity from the equation altogether. It will not be an easy challenge, though. Taking firm action against entities conducting in illicit activity will yield some interesting results.

The Cryptocurrency Situation in South Korea

This new approach is the direct result of a petition sent to the government not that long ago. In this petition, over 280,000 residents of South Korea demand reasonable cryptocurrency regulation. It is certainly possible to regulate cryptocurrency companies without banning this form of money. South Korea seems to lean toward taking this approach as of right now. Whether or not this is due to the petition itself, remains to be seen.

All of this means we will see additional guidelines in the future. What that entails exactly, remains unknown for the time being. All options remain on the table, which can mean positive things are bound to happen in South Korea. The fact there will be no ban on this new form of money is by far the most important aspect. It is also worth noting the local government is a firm proponent of blockchain technology as well.

There are still a lot of different opinions among the government right now. With no unified front, the decision can easily swing either way. For now, we will have to wait and see what the future holds in this regard. It is possible South Korea will fully legitimize cryptocurrency, just like Japan did. At the same time, a harsh crackdown on cryptocurrency is still an option as well. Taxing virtual currencies seems to be another aspect worth considering as of right now. An interesting situation well worth keeping an eye on.

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US Olympic Luge Team Welcome Bitcoin Donations

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As Olympians in Pyeongchang, Korea perform to huge audiences in the popular events of skying, snowboarding and hockey. Less popular US lugers have turned to Bitcoin to fuel their sleds.

Bitcoin funds US luge team

The USA Luge Foundation began campaigning for donations of Bitcoin using Medium since December of 2017. The team is the first Olympic group to set up its own Bitcoin wallet to accept donations.

USA luge marketing director and former double silver medalists Gary Sheer said that matching Bitcoin to the US luge endowment fund is a natural fit;

“You know, we hear a lot of jokes about lugers being crazy, and people don’t know why we do it. But luge is something that gets into your blood and transforms your life and the Bitcoiners we’ve met know exactly what it’s like to be all in on something that the world doesn’t appreciate yet. We’ve looked at Bitcoin hard, and it is definitely a risk-reward we understand and are eager to take.”

Although no Olympic team is allowed to have any type of advertising on their uniforms or equipment during the games the team has promised to promote the cryptocurrency in up and coming competitions.

The team has laid out a rewards schedule depending on how much Bitcoin they raise in the future.

  • 5 BTC – Bitcoin’s logo will appear on team hats and memorabilia hats.
  • 10 BTC – Above, including Bitcoin logo sewn onto all luge team outerwear for the
  • 2018 season (excluding the Winter Olympics).
  • 25 BTC – All of the above, including Bitcoin logo of sleds for the next two seasons.
  • 50 BTC – All of the above, with Bitcoin logo on sleds for next four seasons.
  • 100 BTC – All the above including Bitcoin logo on team skin suits for four years (excluding Olympics).

For 21 million the team promised to find ‘Satoshi and get him on a sled’ – 21 million is the finite number of Bitcoins.

Cash only at Olympic Village

Being that South Korea is a major hub of cryptocurrency trading and the Olympics an international event one would expect vendors and facilities to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies during the events.

That is not the case though. According to Forbes there is only one place to spend your Bitcoin, a single ski rental shop at the Olympic Village. Many were expecting vendors to take up the platform Coinduck which allows payment in Etheruem and then pays the local vendor in Korean Won. The lack of cryptocurrency at the games could be a reflection of the countries current conflicted views on regulating cryptocurrency markets.

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Bitcoin Luges Its Way Into Winter Olympics

Cointelegraph.com News

Meet the first international sports team to start advertising Bitcoin on its kit and equipment at the Winter Olympics 2018. Where else could you find crypto in Pyeongchang? #ADOPTION