What's the hottest currency you can't currently trade on the forex market? That's right: Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency might have gone from the greatest innovation in the fintech world to a blip on the radar since it first launched in 2009, but things seem to have turned a corner in 2017.
Following a period of stagnation, the price of a single bitcoin reached record levels throughout February and March. Indeed, on March 10, the price of a single coin topped $1,300 across a number of markets according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. With the US Securities and Exchange Commission deliberating the merits of the virtual currency as an exchange-traded fund (ETF), investors have been driving up the value of the virtual currency.
Elsewhere, China's current review of the bitcoin market is also having an effect on the price. Despite initial skepticism towards the currency, the mood appears to have warmed in recent months. Although Zhou Xuedong, director of the People's Bank of China Business Administration division, is still unsure of where bitcoin should sit in the market, it appears he's at least considering some form of regulation and national usage in the future.
For those active in the FX world, perhaps the most interesting developments will come from Japan in the next few months. With legislation regarding the regulation of the bitcoin set to start in April, exchanges will be required to register with the country's Financial Services Agency (FSA). This move will mean exchanges currently swapping native currencies for bitcoin will need a license to stay active.
When this happens, Mike Kayamori, CEO of bitcoin exchange Quoine, believes that the big players in the FX world will enter the market and quickly takeover. Talking to CoinDesk, Kayamori said that exchanges such as GMO Internet and SBI Holdings are already looking to add bitcoin to their portfolios.
While this may have a negative impact on exchanges already in operation, it could mean a wealth of new investment opportunities for traders. Although the finer details of what this will all mean won't become clear for a few months, there's a chance bitcoin could become a staple feature of online trading sites.
Just as a trader would login to AVA Trade or VantageFX and select an existing currency pair like USD/GBP, they may soon have the opportunity to do the same with BTC (Bitcoin). Should this happen, it could also open up the online forex world to a host of new investors. Although bitcoin isn't a mainstream currency, it does have a loyal following on the Internet.
If these people find out they can trade BTC, it may just encourage them to join an online platform. The upshot of this could be more deals for new and existing customers. Indeed, by scouring through the list of deals and reviews on forexbonus.com.au, new traders will not only get an insight into the nuances of FX, but some of the best welcome deals. As more people take advantage of a service like this, it should create more competition among competing FX platforms and, in turn, create more added value.
As it stands, the forex trading online has been in a fairly comfortable position for the last five years. Although that hasn't meant a drop-off in bonuses and loyalty deals, an influx of new traders would certainly spark the market into life. With more business out there to fight for and novices to persuade, the major sites would have to step up their games and that will mean better trading conditions for everyone.
Of course, all this is speculative and dependent on events in Japan and beyond. However, it's clear that bitcoin is making a big impact on the financial world in 2017 and that could just mean online FX trading is about to get a lot more attractive.
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