Bitcoin prices are soaring in Hong Kong as protests have spilled over into unsanctioned areas and stretched on for weeks. The often violent demonstrations are considered the greatest political turmoil in the history of the special administrative region since Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997, driving the price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency to trade at a premium compared to other countries.
According to a report by Cointelegraph, Bitcoin traders in Hong Kong paid approximately US$300 more per BTC on August 14th, 2019 compared to other markets. This represents a premium of about 2% according to data from the peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, LocalBitcoins.
If enacted, Hong Kong’s proposed extradition bill would have deported its criminal suspects to China to attend court proceedings on the mainland. The bill’s introduction at the beginning of April 2019 has caused widespread outrage among Hong Kong residents and subsequent political turmoil. This, in turn, has brought about economic uncertainty and driven many Hong Kong traders to turn to cryptocurrencies.
Rayne Steinberg, CEO of Arca, a crypto hedge fund, recently stated in an interview with Bloomberg that the role of Bitcoin has become more prominent during times of turmoil.
“Bitcoin is becoming the asset of last resort in areas of extreme currency devaluation and political uncertainty,” Steinberg concluded.
Bitcoin, as a decentralized currency, can provide anonymity to its owners and is not controlled by any centralized authority, nor does it have ties to any sovereign nation.
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