It is no longer news that bitcoin is the world’s most valuable and most expensive cryptocurrency, neither is it news that the Bitcoin market capitalization is over $270 billion. Moreover, its market cap has established itself far above some blue-chip firms like Visa, Mastercard, Walt Disney, IBM, McDonald’s and many more.
Asian Influence on the Bitcoin Market
Bitcoin has achieved this milestone because of support from many countries of the world, but our focus is on the Heavyweights on the Asian continent whose appetite for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has been insatiable over the years.
Once upon a time, about 80 percent of the daily bitcoin trading volume came from China. However, in September 2017, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank Of China (PBOC), with support from the Chinese government, placed a blanket ban on initial coin offerings and all Bitcoin exchanges in the country. Since then, significant bitcoin exchanges like Huobi, Okcoin, and BTCC have since closed shop.
However, peer-to-peer bitcoin platforms like Localbitcoins and Coincola are still doing brisk business. Mining is still a lucrative business in China although there are still lingering fears that the government may soon ban cryptocurrency mining in the country.
In April 2017, the Japanese government and lawmakers gave the digital money the status of legal tender in the country. More than many bitcoin and cryptocurrencies exchanges operate with government-issued licenses in Japan.
Often the Japanese yen has accounted for up to 60 percent of the global bitcoin volume due to massive bitcoin trading activities between the nation’s currency. At the time of writing, Japan accounts for about 30 percent of the world’s bitcoin trade volume and the Japanese Yen holds the second position after the US dollar regarding bitcoin’s swapping volume.
Bitflyer, one of the most significant cryptocurrency trading platforms, is also based in Japan. From small retail stores to large airlines, Bitcoin is accepted as a payment method by almost everyone in Japan.
The country has experienced massive bitcoin trading Activities in recent times. For some time now, South Korean exchanges like Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone have maintained the number three and sometimes, the number two spot as per highest global crypto trade volume.
At press time, the South Korean Won stands at fifth, with approximately five percent of the global bitcoin trade. The Korean authorities have been relatively friendly towards cryptocurrencies, but according to reports, authorities are working on the Cryptocurrency and ICO regulation in the country. They have even gone so far as to threaten shutting down all exchanges in the country.
The South Korean government claimed that speculation of the digital asset had grown “irrational” and officials could no longer “leave the abnormal situation of speculation.”
Other Asian countries like India, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia have all contributed to the growth and popularity of cryptocurrencies, with some formulating strict regulations to govern their respective ecosystems.
However, instead of placing an outright ban on bitcoin just like China has done, some of these countries are working to develop sensible regulations that would protect the interest of bitcoin investors in the region, due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.