Virtual currency, which has been neglected for a certain period of time, has made a triumphant comeback. The price of Bitcoin, the flagship virtual currency, has surpassed 20 million won (about 18,000 U.S. dollars) for the first time in two years and 10 months. There are mixed responses, including a rosy outlook about cryptocurrency suggesting that the current situation is different from the “coin frenzy” of the past, and the pessimism projecting that it is still a financial bubble.
According to Bithumb, a local virtual currency exchange, on Friday, the Bitcoin currency was traded at 20.95 million won as of 3 p.m. Friday. The cryptocurrency was moving up and down in value after surpassing the 20 million won mark on Wednesday, and has continued to hover at the 20 million won level for three consecutive days since.
It is the first time Bitcoin has been traded above 20 million won in Korea since January 2008. The value has jumped more than 50 percent over the past month, and more than doubled from early this year.
Watchers, however, have starkly different projections on the cyber currency. While some say it is an investment that will replace gold, and it will surpass 300 million won (268,000 dollars) late next year, many others say that it is a risky speculative asset that lacks the function of currency for transaction. The South Korean government has decided to impose a 20 percent income tax for gains from cryptocurrency investment starting October next year.
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