Bitcoin rebounds above US$14,000 as investors seem to find a bottom ahead of 2018

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 December, 2017, 1:26am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 December, 2017, 1:27am

Bitcoin appeared to find a bottom on Friday, rebounding above US$14,000 after moves by South Korea to curb speculation and protect retail customers sent the cryptocurrency sliding on Thursday.

Bitcoin climbed as much as 8.3 per cent in Asian trading, before dropping back to trade 1.9 per cent higher at US$14,211 in New York, data showed.

The digital currency has slumped about 27 per cent from its record of US$19,511, which it reached on December 18 when CME Group introduced its futures contract.

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While bitcoin’s debut on regulated derivatives exchanges in Chicago was thought to have given it a new mainstream channel for investors to tap, so far trading volume has been limited.

“Short-term support is about US$13,500, we’ve hit that the last couple of trading sessions,” Chris Gersch, director of strategy at alternative investment management firm Bell Curve Capital LP in Chicago, said in an interview.

“Ultimately I think it moves lower and tests last week’s lows around US$12,400 in the futures contract,” he said, referring to the CME version.

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The South Korean government has been among the loudest voices of concern about a possible speculative bubble in the largest cryptocurrency, which is still up about 1,500 per cent for the year.

The country is something of a bellwether for global demand, with South Koreans paying premiums about 20 per cent over prevailing international rates as of Friday.