Bitcoin hit a new high in the last three weeks and has soared almost 100% from the depths this year, its bounceback continuing after South Korea’s financial regulator softened its stance on cryptocurrencies, a few weeks after it though of shutting down digital currency exchanges.
As of press time, the world’s most popular and oftentimes controversial digital asset was trading at $11,312.20.
According to a report from South Korean news agency, Yonhap, the governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, Choe Heung-sik, was quoted as saying that the government would back think of cryptocurrency trading as if “normal transactions” are made.
“While the threat of heavy regulation, or even a total ban on exchange trading, has hovered over bitcoin in recent weeks, reports this morning that the South Korean government are softening their stance have given traders confidence to buy,” said Dennis de Jong, managing director, at online brokerage UFX.com in a report on Reuters.
South Korea has been striving for more stringent regulatory management of cryptocurrency trading as citizens from all corners of the naton have entered the market in spite of the inherent risks and warnings from lawmakers.
Seoul has already said it was thinking of shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which caused worldwide turmoil and bitcoin prices to freefall. Officials later explained an outright ban is only one of the steps being considered, and a final decision was still being discussed.
On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, bitcoin reached a three-week high of $11,722.58 BTC=BTSP on Tuesday. From this year’s low of $5,920, which was reached in early February, bitcoin has improved nearly 100 percent.
“Bitcoin’s price history suggests that months of consolidation are followed by weeks of rapid advancement,” said Canaccord Genuity in its latest research note.
“The safest way to benefit from potential bitcoin price appreciation is to buy and hold for the long term; trying to time it might be too difficult,” the note read.
Bitcoin has been under a lot of pressure this year by regulatory initiatives across the world and the incidents of hacks on exchanges. The most recent one happened a few weeks ago when an estimated $532.9 million in digital money was pilfered from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck.
Other digital currencies, meanwhile, showed mixed results. Ethereum, the second-largest by market value, was down 5.65% percent over the past 24 hours at $896.57, while the third-largest, Ripple, fell 6.62% to $1.07, according to market resource, CoinMarketCap.
Litecoin, the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was gained 2.50% at $229.69.
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