A Coinone employee points at a digital board that shows Bitcoin price movements, Oct. 21. (Yonhap)
The world’s largest and best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, hit 80 million won ($67,900) on Thursday in South Korea, inching closer to a historical high, following the much-anticipated listing of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund in the US.
Bitcoin briefly touched 81.2 million won at around midnight, the largest crypto exchange, Upbit, said on Oct. 21. On April 14, Bitcoin reached a record high of 81.48 million won. As of 1:50 p.m., Bitcoin was trading at 79 million won on Upbit and 78.7 million won on Bithumb, the second-largest exchange.
Global prices averaged $66,930 per bitcoin at around the same time, surpassing previous records, data from CoinMarketCap showed. The cryptocurrency’s market cap stood at $1.24 trillion. Ethereum, the second-largest virtual currency, saw its value per unit exceed $4,000 for the first time since May.
The upbeat market sentiment followed the listing of the first Bitcoin-related ETF in the US on Oct. 20, which marks the cryptocurrency’s entry into the major financial market. Upon its debut, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF jumped 4.8 percent to close at $41.94.
Also on Oct. 21 it was revealed that the second Bitcoin Futures ETF, VanEck’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF, had received approval from the US Stock Exchange Commission and was set to go live on the New York Stock Exchange as early as next week.
Meanwhile, on the same day, a lawmaker urged thorough oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges to ensure they meet their tax obligations.
According to Rep. Park Hong-keun of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, database and online information businesses that include cryptocurrency exchanges reported that they made 13.9 trillion won last year. The top 1 percent in this business category, or 37 business entities out of 3,737, made 9.6 trillion won, which accounted for 69.5 percent of the total. They paid 463 billion won in taxes, he said.
“With Bitcoin prices once exceeding 80 million won, incomes of virtual asset exchanges are also expected to increase accordingly,” Park said. “It is necessary to manage accurate income reports and appropriate taxes by separately classifying income from virtual asset exchanges by business types.”
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)