Bitcoin appeared to find a bottom Friday, rebounding above $14,000 after moves by South Korea to curb speculation and protect retail customers sent the cryptocurrency sliding yesterday.
Bitcoin climbed as much as 8.3% in Asian trading, before dropping back to trade 1.9% higher at $14,211 at 8:21 a.m. in New York, composite Bloomberg pricing showed.
The digital currency has slumped about 27% from its record $19,511 reached on Dec. 18, when CME Group (CME) introduced its futures contract. While bitcoin’s debut on regulated derivatives exchanges in Chicago was thought to have given it a new mainstream channel for investors to tap, so far trading volume has been limited.
“Short-term support is about $13,500—we’ve hit that the last couple of trading sessions,” Chris Gersch, director of strategy at alternative investment management firm Bell Curve Capital in Chicago, said on Bloomberg Television. “Ultimately I think it moves lower and tests last week’s lows around $12,400 in the futures contract,” he said, referring to the CME version.
The South Korean government has been among the loudest voices of concern about a possible speculative bubble in the largest cryptocurrency, which is still up about 1,500% for the year. The country is something of a bellwether for global demand, with South Koreans paying premiums about 20% over prevailing international rates as of Friday.