Ex­perts split over fu­ture course of bit­coin

The Korea Times - - FINANCE - By Jhoo Dong-chan [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

Bit­coin prices climbed above the 10 mil­lion won ($8,585.9) mark over the week­end rais­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that the vir­tual coin will con­tinue on an­other bullish run.

The sud­den hike of the world’s most-widely traded cryp­tocur­rency fol­lowed Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s re­cent re­mark claim­ing China should “seize the op­por­tu­nity” of­fered by blockchain tech­nol­ogy.

Ex­perts, how­ever, dis­played a mixed outlook about the fu­ture course of the bit­coin price.

Ac­cord­ing to Korea’s largest crypto ex­change Bithumb, bit­coin was traded at 10.97 mil­lion won as of 2:30 p.m. Tues­day, down 1.5 per­cent from a day ago.

The vir­tual coin’s price is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a cor­rec­tion period since it peaked at 11.96 mil­lion won over the week­end, climb­ing 2.91 mil­lion won, or 24 per­cent, since Xi’s fa­vor­able com­ment about the tech­nol­ogy.

Other vir­tual coins are also en­joy­ing mo­men­tum.

Ethereum’s price gained 5,500 won, or 2.65 per­cent, to 212,800 won in the same period. Bit­coin Cash’s price was also up 15,900 won, or 5.52 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the ex­change.

De­spite the rally over the week­end, ex­perts are di­vided in their outlook about the coins’ fu­ture prices.

Crypto an­a­lyst and trader Crypto Michael said bit­coin prices could reach $20,000 by next year, claim­ing the price pat­tern is sim­i­lar to that of early 2016.

“The 2016 period and now are still com­pa­ra­ble in which tar­get­ing the $17,000-$20,000 range prior to a halv­ing is re­al­is­tic,” he said.

Crypto-to-crypto de­riv­a­tives plat­form Amulet Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor

Marouane Gar­con wel­comed Xi’s en­dorse­ment.

“Peo­ple know that his green light will cause a rip­ple ef­fect across China,” Gar­con said.

“Hav­ing China on­board, in my opin­ion, is just as good, if not bet­ter, than hav­ing Amer­ica on­board.”

Do­mes­tic ob­servers re­mained skep­ti­cal about the cur­rent rally.

“Vir­tual coin prices jumped a lot when Face­book in­tro­duced its plan to roll out its own coin, but im­me­di­ately sub­merged after a short rally,” said vir­tual coin in­vestor Kim Hwan.

“I would rather take a wait-and-see ap­proach. The mo­men­tum could be slashed again even by a small un­fa­vor­able fac­tor.”

Xi’s re­mark came as a sur­prise as Bei­jing has been skep­ti­cal about cryp­tocur­ren­cies, ban­ning a fundrais­ing ex­er­cise known as an ini­tial coin of­fer­ing and forc­ing lo­cal trad­ing plat­forms to shut down in 2017.

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