Nowadays cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are considered widely to be real investment vehicles, with the future goal being mass adoption. This is slowly progressing within the US and Europe, but some areas of Asia, particularly in the Southeast region have really started to embrace this revolution. Cryptocurrency is being used in many ways such as Bitcoin Cash beer gardens in Thailand and blockchain based microlending programmes in Cambodia.
Until midway through 2017 China was regarded as the biggest market worldwide for Bitcoin trading, however from September onwards this began to change when ICOs were banned and then government officials shut down some local Bitcoin exchanges, such as OKcoin and Huobi, which were two of the largest in the world and this then made Japan the largest Bitcoin market in the world. It is only set to get worse for China too as now their Government Officials also want to crack down even further on Bitcoin mining and stop local internet access to cryptocurrency exchanges internationally. This would stop any potential Chinese Bitcoin consumers buying from foreign exchanges as well as their own.
Asia’s Influence is undeniable
It has been noticed that cryptocurrency trading in Asia has proved to be very adaptable, in particular in relation to the wide-ranging prices across the continent. The chief exec of a Hong Kong bitcoin and Ethereum exchange, Gatecoin said “The price in Japan and South Korea is higher due to local demand, so people from those countries are coming here to get a better price”. South Korea has been one of the main countries culpable for this and currently accounts for about 12% of global trading amounts and this figure will continue to increase.
The development of cryptocurrency wallets and payment systems is really starting to move ahead in Asia but there are still two main challenges. First the technology relied upon at present does seem to be lacking to some extent. It is rather slow, very expensive and can often fluctuate. The second potential challenge is seen as the demand and whether or not people will want to use cryptocurrency as a form of payment on a large scale. The advantage the Asian market has is that credit cards are not actually as widely used in Asia as in other parts of the developed world.
This therefore provides an opportunity for cryptocurrency to act as a viable payment method that could be widely used. In fact, we have already seen the success of cryptocurrencies in the online world, especially in gaming. There continues to be a growing trend in bitcoin casinos being launched like BitCasino as well as recognised operators, SBObet for example, who are considering implementing the payment option.
For years now cryptocurrencies, in particular, Bitcoin has made headlines, mainly in regards to their potential for generating wealth, but now in Asia, particularly the Southeast, this form of currency is starting to be used to solve everyday problems. It is true to say the cryptocurrency trading in the recent past has started to see a high amount of adoption within Asian markets and if cryptocurrency businesses don’t target this massive potential marketplace they could be left behind by others.
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