At press time, bitcoin has recovered to $8,100 after trading between $7,900 and $8,000 24 hours ago.
One of the primary reasons for yesterday’s $400 drop may be Kraken’s recent announcement that it was pulling out of Japan. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange previously entered the country’s digital currency arena to assist Mt. Gox, the infamous trading platform that declared bankruptcy after losing nearly half-a-billion dollars in BTC. Kraken officials have stated that operations within Japan’s borders are too expensive, and are pulling the plug on its business ventures there.
Japan serves as one of the world’s largest bitcoin and cryptocurrency havens, and any move stemming from within its financial industry is likely to have vast repercussions on the price of related altcoins, though not every currency is in the red or suffering deeply. In fact, various currencies have experienced solid rises within the last day, including litecoin – which currently stands at $138 following its previous stance of $127. Ripple’s XRP is also up to $0.67 from $0.65, while bitcoin cash sits at $777 – an eight dollar jump from yesterday’s $769 trading mark.
For the most part, bitcoin appears to have developed new strength at the $8,000 level, suggesting the currency is likely to stay here for the time being granted immediate rises don’t occur. This is a good sign considering the dismal outcome 2018 has had on bitcoin thus far. Some analysts predicted major slumps by mid-April, though the outcome appears to be moving in opposite directions. Bitcoin has jumped by $1,200 since last week, and has ultimately maintained its position.
One of the things alleged to bring further boosts to the bitcoin price is growing adoption in Asia. One source says bitcoin is amongst the top choices for B2B payments, predominantly in China and Asia, as well as for retail payments.
Luxury brand Bellatorra Skin Care, though based in Los Angeles, is expanding its operations into Asia, and representatives say the desire to pay with cryptocurrency is particularly strong.
“We expanded our business internationally this past year, and have had strong demand [for cryptocurrency] from customers in markets where fiat cross-border transactions have inefficiencies,” says CEO Nathan Halsey. “We have found cryptocurrency to be a viable solution for resolving these challenges, and we see other companies with international business adopting the same practices.”
The company has been partnered with bitcoin merchant services provider BitPay since the summer of 2017, and the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have completed multiple six-figure transactions without an issue, and have settled funds from the time of customer payment to settling in U.S. dollars in our U.S. bank accounts in less than one business day,” Halsey further states. “We are definitely pro-cryptocurrency as a payment option.”
Chief commercial officer at BitPay Sonny Singh says that B2B now accounts for roughly 15 percent of the company’s transactions, and he expects those numbers to increase tenfold in the coming year. He states BitPay is currently revamping its staff to be ready for what they predict will be major financial changes.
“The staff will be focused on customer service, sales, engineering services, compliance, and other things you really need a local presence for,” he mentions.