Bitcoin has passed $4,000 per coin, fuelled by recent tensions in the Korean Peninsula and South China Sea. It reached its all-time high last Sunday at $4,197.22.

This brings the value of Bitcoin up 780% since last year, while the Bitcoin Investment Trust shares are up 780% for the last nine months.

This has taken Bitcoin’s market cap close to PayPal’s $70 billion figure, and is expected to beat it sometime soon.

Bitcoin on the brink of war

Just like Venezuela, the destabilization of the region’s economy brings about fears of currency volatility. The yen, the yuan, and the won, all local currencies in Asia, have seen their value undermined as a result.

Investing in Bitcoin would prove to be a more future-proof solution. Although it has seen a mild amount of volatility in the recent months, this is nothing compared to what hyper-inflation has done to the bolivar in Venezuela, or what may happen to the currency of a country that kicks off a war.

Most of the Bitcoin global trade volume takes place mostly in this region, and this may well be an explanation.

Bitcoin trade in Japanese yen accounted for close to 46% of total global trade, having seen great increase in the past couple of days. Trade in Chinese yuan and South Korean won accounted for about 12% each, while US-dollar Bitcoin trade accounted for about 25%, according to CryptoCompare.

With a rise in tensions, the area has also experienced more movement in equity market, with many companies looking for safe havens like the US or Bitcoin itself.

Bitcoin supply is expected to be limited to 21 million, which is a finite amount and another reason for the sudden crazes it experiences.

Korea in the news

Last month, IBS Intelligence covered the talks in South Korea to legalise Bitcoin, with the intention of protecting traders from a potential bubble burst.

Japan and South Korea have been experiencing this rise in consumer investment in Bitcoin for a few months now, with many speculating it is a result of low saving rates in both countries. It is believed the investment was spurred by this year’s crackdown at China’s Central Bank.

More recently, the United States accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for the North Korean government. The charges follow a series of sanctions placed on two Chinese citizens and shipping company Dalian Global Unity.

by Henry Vilar
Henry is Junior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: henryv@ibsintelligence.com
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