Bitcoin Cash Spikes on South Korean Volume

Bitcoin cash (BCH) resumed its uptrend Friday following a sudden spike in South Korean trade volumes. Recent activity in the Asian country suggests that the bitcoin alternative could gain more exposure in the short term.

BCH/USD Price Levels

The BCH/USD exchange rate surged above $1,750 on Thursady, where it was still some $800 shy of the all-time high. Prices would later consolidate below $1,700 as markets paced the gains. At press time, BCH/USD was up 6.6% at $1,662.

With the recent gain, bitcoin cash is worth a combined $28.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That puts it third among active cryptos, behind online bitcoin and Ethereum.

Thursday was bitcoin cash’s second major spike of the month, with more traders backing the alternative blockchain. After months of futility, BCH caught fire in mid-November after the backers of Segwit2x abandoned their planned hard fork. Following an initial spike, bitcoin (BTC/USD) declined sharply.

The complete opposite has occurred in recent weeks, with bitcoin cash tempering its advance and BTC adding thousands en route to multiple record highs. The original bitcoin was down more than $110 on Friday, but continued to trade well north of $8,000.

BCH has put up strong gains in recent weeks, a clear sign that the market has moved to a higher base. The cryptocurrency struggled to make a name for itself after it broke away from the original blockchain on Aug. 1. Based on the latest price action, BCH is making the case for a return to $2,000.

South Korea Factor

Trading activity in South Korea continues to be at the center of bitcoin cash’s rally. The Asian country has emerged as a major player in the global cryptocurrency market, with investors there showing a greater propensity to adopt altcoins.

On Thursday, the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said it had “no plans” to monitor the cryptocurrency space because it believes the digital tokens do not represent real money.

“Though we are monitoring the practice of cryptocurrency trading, we don’t have plans right now to directly supervise exchanges,” said Choe Heung-sik, the agency’s chief. “Supervision will come only after the legal recognition of digital tokens as a legitimate currency.”

Positive vibes from South Korea may be partially responsible for the huge upswing in trading volumes tied to BCH. Trading volume in the cryptocurrency has risen above $4.1 billion in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s the highest level in nearly two weeks.

Bitcoin cash is also benefiting from Bitstamp’s decision to integrate the cryptocurrency next month “in response to the demand.”Bitstamp is the world’s twelfth largest digital currency exchange, according to Business Insider.

Separately, digital wallet provider Bitwala announced plans to integrate BCH into its platform, a clear sign that the token was gaining wider acceptance. The platform, which has more than 57,000 users, said it will now facilitate storage of BCH as well as money transfers. The team also said it is working hard to integrate mobile BCH wallets in the near term.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi