TOKYO – The price of bitcoin on Friday sank more than 12 percent after touching a new high of 2.4 million yen ($21,167) in the first hours of trading in Japan.
Bitcoin reached the high at 8 am local time on Coincheck, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges in Japan, and a little bit lower on bitFlyer, another main exchange firm.
After that the prices tumbled, reaching an intra-day low of 1.6 million yen at 2 pm, although later it stabilized at around 2 million yen.
The most popular cryptocurrency continues to make new records daily, showing a sustained rise – despite ups and downs – since the beginning of this year, when it was valued at a price 20 times lower than the current one.
The value of bitcoin has doubled in the last two weeks due to futures trading over its price in markets in the United States, leading to growing interest among both individual investors and financial firms.
Products related to the virtual currency could also be launched on Tokyo’s financial markets from next year, a conglomerate of companies operating in Tokyo has said.
The high volatility in the virtual currency market and the huge influx of investors led on Thursday to the main international exchanges offering very different rates and some of them suffering technical problems temporarily.
Japan was one of the first countries in the world to legalize bitcoin, recognizing it as a mode of payment in April, making it an important investment asset in the third biggest economy worldwide.
Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency founded in 2009, and based on “blockchain” technology, which is also used in other cryptocurrencies, in which the material value is based in data encryption.