Bitcoin soars above $5,100 mark following good news from China

12 Oct 2017

Image: Adrian Today/Shutterstock

Bitcoin appeared to be stumbling following indications that China was fighting against it, but a change of heart has seen its price soar again.

Bitcoin has once again reached a new record high, this time seeing one bitcoin priced at more than $5,100 at the time of writing.

It passed the previous record price of just over $5,000, which was achieved at the beginning of September.

This shows a return to the cryptocurrency’s earlier surge that saw many people within the financial sector – and even the average person – suddenly take notice of a once fringe concept.

This resurgence is linked to China’s clampdown on bitcoin being less severe than initially thought, with the country likely to open trading on the cryptocurrency once again.

According to CNBC, though, there will be much greater regulation, including the preventing of bitcoin being used for money laundering as well as licensing agreements.

Last month, China appeared to be waging an all-out war on bitcoin after it banned companies from engaging in initial coin offerings, which are increasingly being used to fund new cryptocurrency start-ups.

Then, in a second blow, the Chinese government ordered that all exchanges – which had orchestrated a fifth of all bitcoin transactions up until then – in the country be shut down.

No love from Russia

While bitcoin traders and investors appear to be optimistic once more, challenges to its legitimacy within nations remain a threat, particularly in Russia.

Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has said it will clamp down on exchanges within its borders, with Putin himself saying that “buyers of cryptocurrencies could be involved in unlawful activities”.

Similar negative reactions are coming from the financial markets, with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon going as far as to say that bitcoin is a “fraud”.

One nation is very much embracing bitcoin’s potential, however, with news that the tiny island of Vanuatu – whose existence is under threat from rising sea levels – is now offering to let people buy citizenship using the cryptocurrency.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic