The Korea Herald


Bitcoin inches closer to record high amid ETF launches

Along with rally, exchanges expected to make robust profits: lawmaker

By Park Ga-young

Published : Oct. 21, 2021 - 17:12

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An employee of Coinone points at a digital board that shows the price movement of Bitcoin on Thursday. (Yonhap) An employee of Coinone points at a digital board that shows the price movement of Bitcoin on Thursday. (Yonhap)
The world’s largest and best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin hit 80 million won ($67,900) on Thursday in Korea, inching closer to a historical high, following the much-anticipated listing of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund in the US. 

Bitcoin briefly touched 81.2 million won at around midnight, according to the largest crypto exchange Upbit on Thursday. On April 14, Bitcoin’s price reached its record high of 81.48 million won. As of 1:50 p.m, Bitcoin was trading at 79 million won at Upbit and 78.7 million won at Bithumb, the second-largest exchange. 

The local price compared to global prices that exceeded the previous record hight and stood at $66,930 per bitcoin at around the same time, data from CoinMarketCap showed. Its market cap stood at $1.24 trillion. Ethereum, the second-largest virtual currency, saw its price jump above $4,000 for the first time since May. 

The upbeat market sentiment followed the listing of the first Bitcoin-related ETF in the US on Wednesday, which marks the cryptocurrency’s entry into the major financial market. Upon its debut, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF jumped 4.8 percent to close at $41.94. 

Also on Thursday, it was revealed that the second Bitcoin Futures ETF, VanEck’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF, had received approval from the US Stock Exchange Commission and is set to go live on the New York Stock Exchange as early as next week. 

Meanwhile, on the same day a lawmaker urged thorough supervision of cryptocurrency exchanges’ income and tax burden in proportion to their income. 

According to Rep. Park Hong-keun of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, database and online information businesses that include cryptocurrency exchanges reported that they made 13.9 trillion won last year. The top 1 percent in this business category, or 37 business entities out of 3,737, made 9.6 trillion won, accounting for 69.5 percent of the total income. They also paid 463 billion won in taxes, he said, adding that it is difficult to exclude crypto exchanges from the top 1 percent category.

“With Bitcoin prices once exceeding 80 million won, incomes of virtual asset exchanges are also expected to increase accordingly,” Rep. Park said. “It is necessary to manage accurate income reports and appropriate taxes by separately classifying income from virtual asset exchanges by business types.”