Bitcoin price recovered to the $1,200 range for the first time since April 13. At its peak, Bitcoin price surpassed $1,220, reaching $1,222 on most major Bitcoin exchanges.
Major factor: Japanese market
The Japanese Bitcoin exchange market has experienced an increasing demand for Bitcoin over the past few weeks. Earlier this month, the Japanese retail giant Bic Camera began to accept Bitcoin in all of its retail centers across Japan. According to local publications, 260,000 restaurants, cafes and bars are set to accept Bitcoin through a PoS system called AirRegi developed by Recruit Lifestyle by this summer.
While the vast majority of the Bitcoin community have heard about Bic Camera and its integration of a Bitcoin payment system developed in cooperation with the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange BitFlyer, most Bitcoin users have struggled to acknowledge the brand power and recognition of Bic Camera throughout Japan and its impact on mainstream Bitcoin adoption.
Bic Camera operates a large number of electronic retail centers at the largest financial districts and city centers in Japan. Most Bic Camera retail stores are located in prestigious and expensive shopping centers that are often operated by the company.
The company’s acceptance of Bitcoin brought significant mainstream media coverage on Bitcoin in Japan, South Korea and China. Major news agencies demonstrated the usage of Bitcoin as a payment network to millions of viewers across Asia. Such marketing effect led to a substantial increase in the demand for Bitcoin in Japan, leading to a short-term increase in Bitcoin price.
Other factors: SegWit talks and Indian Bitcoin market
Another major factor of Bitcoin price is the discussion on Bitcoin Core’s Segregated Witness (SegWit) and the Bitcoin Unlimited software. Analysts predict that the activation of a scaling solution such as SegWit which increases on-chain capacity and introduces two-layer solutions including Lightning will lead to a surge in Bitcoin price in the short and mid-term.
Earlier this week, Cointelegraph reported that the world’s third-largest mining pool F2Pool began to mine SegWit blocks and show their support toward SegWit. In an internal poll, 53 percent of the pool’s miners voted for SegWit over Bitcoin Unlimited.
With rising support of user-activated soft fork (UASF) and F2Pool’s decision to signal SegWit, the community has become more optimistic toward the activation of SegWit and the Bitcoin scalability debate.
Any optimistic discussion and talking point on SegWit and Bitcoin Blockchain contingency at this point are likely to demonstrate a direct effect on Bitcoin price. Furthermore, with large Bitcoin markets including the Indian Bitcoin exchange market likely to obtain clarity on Bitcoin legalization, Bitcoin price is expected to climb up in the short-term.