Bitcoin (BTC) Recovers, Key SKorean Exchange Back Online
- Bitcoin is rallying this week after the 5th largest crypto exchange in the world, Bithumb, reopened. It had temporarily shut down new account registrations after a $30-M hack in June.
- All of this buying is coming from Asia, the biggest news in the market now is that SKorea exchanges are coming back online.
- News of institutional interest has also boosted prices.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency moved back into the 7,000 range as a Key exchange in SKorea, 1 of Bitcoin’s biggest markets, came back online.
The digital currency hit a high of 7,100 Tuesday, up 6% this week after starting Monday around 6,600, according to data from CoinDesk. The cryptocurrency is still down about 50 percent since the beginning of 2018, and 64 percent from its high in December.
Currently, Bitcoin is trading at 7,067.87, -23.51, or -0.3315%, as of 11:15p BST, the market is open
After losing the equivalent of $30-M in a June hack, Seoul-based Bithumb was forced by its banking partner Nonghyup Bank to temporarily stop taking new customers. The world’s 5th largest exchange reopened account registrations again this week, according to crypto industry news sites.
Bithumb’s daily trading volume had dropped to around $72-M at a point in August after the NH Bank news. By Tuesday, its 24-hour volume had recovered to $362-M, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.
SKorea is the 4th largest market for Bitcoin despite some tightening by regulators earlier this year. The country’s Top financial watchdog said in June it would require domestic banks to monitor all exchange accounts in compliance with Korean anti-money laundering laws.
SKorea’s justice minister said in January that the government was considering a shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges but got major pushback from retail investors.
News of institutional interest in crypto has been another barometer for prices this Summer.
Tuesday, Morgan Creek Digital and Bitwise Asset Management announced a new fund aimed at investors like endowments, pension funds and family offices. The so-called Digital Asset Index Fund has a minimum $50,000 investment and gives investors exposure to a basket of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin broke above 7,000 following that announcement, after trading in the 6,000 range for the majority of August.
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