Bitcoin Frenzy Stirs Credibility Concerns over Cryptocurrency (News)


Tokyo, Nov. 29 (Jiji Press)—Bitcoin's recent wild fluctuations amid speculative money flows to its online exchanges have fueled concerns about the major cryptocurrency's credibility, threatening to hamper the spread of the technology as a method for payment.

Japanese virtual currency exchanges are encouraging retailers and other businesses to use bitcoin at their real-world shops. In April, major home electronics retailer Bic Camera Inc. started accepting payments by bitcoin, which is relatively popular among Chinese visitors.

But the high volatility of bitcoin's exchange rates, including the recent movements, is feared to jeopardize such efforts. "If bitcoin moves tens of thousands of yen in an instant, ordinary consumers could feel too worried to use it," an industry source said.

According to major domestic exchange operator BITPoint Japan Co., the bitcoin price hit one million yen on Sunday, up about 10-fold from the beginning of this year. After temporarily falling back to around 980,000 yen, the virtual currency surged again to exceed 1.08 million yen on Monday afternoon.

The wild price moves followed an announcement by major U.S. exchange operator CME Group Inc. in late October that it would launch a bitcoin futures market. The plan apparently stimulated speculators to expand bitcoin trading in anticipation of money flows to the new market from institutional investors, people familiar with the matter said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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