Over the past 24 hours, the cryptocurrency market has sustained strong momentum, moving closer to the $400 billion region. Led by bitcoin, many major cryptocurrencies have recorded large gains since March 11.
Bitcoin Up 14%
Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market, has recorded a gain of over 14 percent since yesterday, rising from $8,400 to $9,800. On both cryptocurrency-only exchanges like Binance and cryptocurrency-to-fiat exchanges like Bitfinex, bitcoin demonstrated strong volumes, despite its struggles last week, amidst the Mt. Gox bitcoin sell off.
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The rise in the price of bitcoin and the momentum it has started to build over the past few days are likely triggered by optimistic developments within the cryptocurrency industry, and a prolonged recovery from the long-lasting correction since January.
Major businesses in South Korea including the country’s largest hotel booking platform Yeogi Eottae and leading e-commerce platform WeMakePrice have began integrating cryptocurrencies in collaboration with Bithumb, the biggest cryptocurrency trading platform in South Korea.
While it may require several months for the two influential businesses to start accepting cryptocurrencies, Bithumb spokesperson stated that the integration of cryptocurrencies by the two companies will lead to other major businesses in the country accepting cryptocurrencies in the near future.
Already, Kakao, the largest internet conglomerate in South Korea that operates KakaoTalk, KakaoPay, KakaoTaxi, KakaoStory, Dunamoo (UpBit), and many other subsidiaries that remain in dominant control over their respective industries and markets, have initiated the integration process of cryptocurrencies.
As CCN reported, the integration of cryptocurrencies by Kakao will allow 12,000 merchants using KakaoPay to accept cryptocurrencies with ease, millions of users on KakaoTaxi, KakaoPay, and potentially KakaoTalk, to send and receive cryptocurrencies, and tens of millions of consumers to utilize cryptocurrencies as a payment method.
Previously, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz stated that in order for cryptocurrencies to “survive,” retailers will need to adopt them as a means of payment. Schultz said:
“I personally believe that there is going to be a one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology. And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction.”
The adoption of cryptocurrencies by businesses in South Korea and Japan could lead to massive adoption, especially for major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum.
The long-term growth of bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies is optimistic, given the progress markets like South Korea and Japan have shown in recent months.
In the short-term, analysts remain divided on the trend of bitcoin and the market. Some argue that the price of bitcoin could spike to $12,000 and initiate a strong rally towards its previous levels, while other investors argue that bitcoin would require more time to recover fully from its correction.
But, it is evident that the market is leading towards bitcoin in a highly volatile period like this, as newcomers enter the market.