The price of Bitcoin has surpassed the 15 million won (US$12,980) level for the first time in a year and five months.
The Bitcoin was traded at 15.30 million won (US$13,239) as of 4 p.m. on June 26, up 15 percent compared to the same time a day earlier, according to Upbit, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea. Bitcoin has been on a steep upward curve since the beginning of this month. Its price surged as much as 50 percent in 15 days.
In this regard, industry sources and foreign media presented multiple interpretations. First, the news that Facebook has joined the cryptocurrency market is considered the biggest favorable factor. Facebook announced its plans on June 18 to allow users to wire money and make a payment by issuing its own cryptocurrency Libra. This project is also participated in by global companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and Uber. Foreign media says that Chinese capital continues to buy bitcoin due to the trade war between the United States and China. Chinese demand for hedge in the financial market is flowing into virtual currencies in order to mitigate the effect of U.S. tariffs when the value of yuan is lowered.
This is also partially due to the fact that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently determined the new international rules on crypto assets. Cryptocurrency exchanges around the world are now required to anti-money laundering obligations at the existing bank level. Therefore, experts say that most cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea will be kicked out but the market continues to show a buying trend with growing expectations for the legalization of virtual currencies.