Bitcoin appeared to find a bottom on Friday, rebounding above US$14 000 after moves by South Korea to curb speculation and protect retail customers sent the cryptocurrency sliding yesterday.
Bitcoin climbed as much as 8.3% in Asian trading, before dropping back to trade 5.1% higher at $14 536 at 9.04am in London, composite Bloomberg pricing showed.
The digital currency has slumped about 23% from its record $19 511 reached on 18 December, when CME Group introduced its futures contract. While bitcoin’s debut on regulated derivatives exchanges in Chicago was thought to have given it a new mainstream channel for investors to tap, so far trading volume has been limited.
“Short-term support is about $13 500 — we’ve hit that the last couple of trading sessions,” said Chris Gersch, director of strategy at alternative investment management firm Bell Curve Capital in Chicago. “Ultimately, I think it moves lower and tests last week’s lows around $12 400 in the futures contract,” he said, referring to the CME version.
The South Korean government has been among the loudest voices of concern about a possible speculative bubble in the largest cryptocurrency, which is still up about 1 500% for the year. The country is something of a bellwether for global demand, with South Koreans paying premiums about 20% over prevailing international rates as of Friday. — Reported by Eric Lam, with assistance from Shery Ahn, Garfield Reynolds and Robert Brand, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP