2017 has been a good year for Bitcoin so far, with its price stabilizing above the $1000 mark and reaching to its recent mark $1263.00. Russia and Japan are the ones behind the high rise of Bitcoin this year.
Since the beginning of April, the price of Bitcoin rallied from $1070 to peak at this month’s high of $1227.00 on April 11. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at around $1283.81 according to https://blockchain.info/markets. The market value of Bitcoin has increased from around $17.5 billion on April 1 to surpass $19.5 billion on April 20, according to https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/#charts
Japan gives Bitcoin price boost
Bitcoin became officially recognized by Japan on April 1, which obviously gave Bitcoin an immediate boost. Citizens can now use the currency to make purchases. Also, it is exempted from sales tax.
Moreover, following the legalization of Bitcoin, retail giants Bic Camera and Recruit Lifestyle have both made an announcement stating that they will be holding trial payments in order to increase the usage of bitcoins for consumer purchases. Recruit Lifestyle uses the app AirREGI which enables merchants to carry out bitcoin payments. Also, there’s a possibility that over a million Japanese retailers may soon accept Bitcoin payments by the end of 2017.
Japan’s acceptance of Bitcoin has been very helpful since it gave a boost to both local and global demand.
Russia is Changing Its Stance Toward Bitcoin
The Bank of Russia banned the use of digital currencies in 2014 fearing that it would weaken the Russian ruble, which seemed to be struggling at that time.
This ban was the reason behind several bitcoin websites and businesses being shut down. It lead to many lawmakers speaking out against Bitcoin, suggesting that “they cannot be used by individuals or legal entities.”
However, at the end of 2016, The Russian Federal Tax service issued a letter in October stating that under Russian law digital currencies are not illegal and that there are no prohibitions for companies and citizens when it comes to dealing with them. But, this letter still gave no clear indication of how digital currencies will be under regulation in Russia.
Last week, however, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said in an interview that The Russian Central Bank and the government are working on an agreement that could see digital currencies such as bitcoin become recognized as a legal payment method as soon as 2018 arrives.
Russia’s change in attitude toward bitcoin has helped shoot up the currency’s price and will likely increase its demand. This could possibly push the price of bitcoin to new heights in the future.