Bitcoin’s swift rise isn’t over.
On Monday, the digital currency was hovering above the $4,000 mark—the new all-time high it crossed over the weekend, when its trading price reached a high of $4,489.99, according to OKCoin data. The cryptocurrency is currently trading at $4,044 level with a market capitalization of $66.8 billion, according to Bitcoin.com.
The “relatively uneventful” blockchain split, which is the culmination of the years-long scaling debate within the bitcoin community as they search for a way to increase the network’s capacity from the original 1MB, caused the price of bitcoin to jump past the $3,000 for the first time.
This time, experts point to the rising tensions in Asia as the reason behind the fresh surge in the digital currency’s price.
In a post on Forbes, Panos Mourdoukoutas, professor and chair of the Department of Economics at LIU Post in New York, said the prospect of war between South Korea and China over the former’s deployment of a U.S.-supplied missile defense system as well as the boiling tensions in South China Sea undermine the demand for the Japanese yen, the South Korean won and the Chinese yuan.
“Simply put, when the first missile flies, either intentionally or accidentally, investors would rather hold bitcoin than any regional currency,” Mourdoukoutas wrote.
Japan, which saw a burst in digital currency trading activity after the government introduced new rules that treat bitcoin as part of the banking system, currently accounted for close to 46 percent of global trade volume, while trading in Chinese yuan and South Korean won accounted for 12 percent each and bitcoin trading in U.S. dollar accounted for 25 percent.