Today, one bitcoin is trading for almost the same price as an ounce of gold. The price of bitcoin has surged almost 200% over the past year. In fact, Bitcoin had spent the past week climbing toward new record highs on optimism that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could soon approve a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund.
Bitcoin has been gaining acceptance among investors and businesses and the cryptocurrency is now entering a new phase, thanks to its low correlation with other asset classes, increasing recognition by central banks and supportive infrastructures globally. Governments in Asia have started to recognise and regulate the cryptocurrency. The Japanese government recently tabled a bill to amend the Payment Services Act so as to impose regulations on virtual currency exchange services. The Philippines central bank also imposed new rules on the country’s bitcoin exchanges, signalling its intention to regulate the industry.
South Korea and India will be the next to regulate bitcoin exchanges whereas China had imposed regulations on the country’s bitcoin exchanges not long ago in January. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) required the exchanges to charge a fixed fee of 0.2% for each trade. Prior to this, the exchanges did not charge investors any transaction fees and generated profit by providing margin trading to their clients.
Bitcoin is now one of the most popular digital payment methods used especially in the U.S. Many large companies in the U.S. accept bitcoins as a legitimate source of funds, meaning that you can store bitcoins in a digital wallet and use them to pay for your purchases. These companies include Subway, Microsoft, Dell, Shopify and many more. In developed countries such as the U.S., U.K., Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands, bitcoin can be used legally and all payments are subject to the same taxes and reporting requirements as other traditional currencies.
Will bitcoin be accepted as one of the payment methods in Asian countries in the near future?