The bitcoin price climbed to a two-week high on Thursday before pulling back to its level from the previous day. Korean exchanges are leading the downward pressure, with the country’s three largest trading platforms pricing bitcoin below $4,000.
Bitcoin has assembled an impressive run this week. As recently as Sunday, the bitcoin price was trading below $3,700, but the market’s early week rally has lifted bitcoin across the $4,000 threshold. Today, the bitcoin price stretched as high as $4,279–its highest market since September 12–briefly raising its market cap above $70 billion.
However, the bitcoin price began to trend down at about 10:00 UTC, and by the time of writing it had dipped to a global average of $4,164. Nevertheless, this still represents a 24-hour increase of 2.3%.
Much of the downward pressure is coming from Korean exchanges, where BTC/KRW is trading below $4,000. Bithumb–whose BTC/KRW pair is priced at $3,998–accounts for more 5% of bitcoin’s daily trading volume, while Korbit and Coinone combine for another 3%.
Despite Thursday’s mid-day pullback, bitcoin remains on a 10% weekly incline. Much of this progress can be attributed to the markets settling down from the turbulence initiated by China’s crackdown on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency exchanges, but there are also several other factors at play.
Bitcoin’s climb past $4,200 followed Overstock’s announcement that one of its subsidiaries has entered a joint venture to create the first SEC- and FINRA-compliant ICO marketplace, a move that will likely bring increased liquidity to the cryptocurrency markets and further legitimize cryptocurrency in the eyes of institutional investors. Moreover, several countries–including Malaysia and Bahrain–have adopted a conciliatory stance toward cryptocurrencies, potentially allowing bitcoin to penetrate further into developing markets.
Ultimately, analysts say that the $4,000 mark is key to the short-term trajectory of the bitcoin price. If bitcoin’s global average holds above that level for the next few days, the markets could initiate a new bullish trend that carries bitcoin past its all-time high of $5,000.