Bitcoin Surges Over $9,500 After Korea's 2nd Biggest Bank Tests Crypto Wallet For Customers

Update: Bitcoin's surge continues as Asia re-opens, pushing the cryptocurrency above $9500 as Korea's second largest bank tests Bitcoin vault and wallet services for its clients.

As Coinivore reports, Shinhan, the second largest commercial bank in South Korea by market valuation in the country is testing a Bitcoin vault and wallet service for its customers that is expected to be released by mid-2018.

A representative of Shinhan Bank told Naver News, a media publication in South Korea in an interview that the bank will launch a Bitcoin vault and wallet platform in response to recent hacking attacks of leading South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges including Bithumb.

“Shinhan is testing a virtual bitcoin vault platform wherein the private keys of bitcoin addresses and wallets are managed and issued by the bank. The bank intends to provide the vault service for free and charge a fee for withdrawals,” the representative said.

In 2016 the bank reported a total of US $192 billion in assets and over 13,000 employees according to News Bitcoin. The bank stated that the service wouldn’t be ready until the second quarter of 2018 but has begun testing the network for the services.

The service will incur zero fees to deposit Bitcoin to store in their cold storage instead a slight fee will be taken during the withdrawal process. They will also be rolling out a mobile app that will contain a dashboard for viewing stats and deposit information for their customers.


It’s unclear whether or not Shinhan will offer Bitcoin brokerage and trading services to enable their existing clients and customers to purchase or sell Bitcoin.

South Korea has been a hub for cryptocurrency and somewhat of a safe haven for established digital currencies since, unlike other countries, they have embraced digital currency as a means for change. Earlier this month, Choe Heung-sik, chief of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), stated that the South Korean government would not impose strict regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges in the foreseeable future.

“Though we are monitoring the practice of cryptocurrency trading, we don’t have plans right now to directly supervise exchanges. Supervision will come only after the legal recognition of digital tokens as a legitimate currency,” Choe said.

Truly allowing the growth of Bitcoin, as of this writing, South Korea holds the largest markets in Bitcoin exchange Bithumb with a volume traded of $356,126,000 today at the time of this writing.

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Update: Bitcoin has continued to soar intraday - now topping $9,300 - with a total market cap over $156 billion, leaving the cryptocurrency worth more than Merck, Disney, and GE.

Coinivore notes that the digital currency, once a toy for computer nerds, is now soaring in price, triggering a new gold rush. Is it just another bubble, or a glimpse into a radically different financial future?

As Rick Falkvinge, CEO of BitCoin Cash and founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, warns “bitcoin is an extinction-level event for banks” and probably governments too...

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As we detailed earlier, less than 24 hours ago, we noted that Bitcoin had broken above the recent resistance level around $8,300 and hit a fresh all time high of $8,650, observing that the world's biggest cryptocurrency by market cap is now rising at a pace that has put the $10,000 price target by both Mike Novogratz (and Jose Canseco) firmly in its sights. It didn't take long however for bitcoin to find a new round of eager buyers, and in early Asian trading, a burst of buying out of Korea's Bithumb exchange, has sent bitcoin surging another several hundred dollars higher, and around midnight ET bitcoin had surpassed $9,000, sending its market cap to $150 billion, making it more valuable than corporations like Siemens, Mastercard or McDonald’s.

The sharp gains come as the combined market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies also peaks at new highs – currently standing at just shy of $300 billion.

At this rate of appreciation, the crypto may hit the key psychological level of $10,000 in under a week. Needless to say, the long term chart is about as exponential as it gets, so as usual, buyer beware.

Bitcoin started the year just above $1,000, and the YTD gain is now over 900%, which however pales in comparison to Ether's nearly 5,000% YTD return and Litecoin's 20x.

However, it's not just Asian demand as CoinTelegraph reports that in a sign of growing mainstream acceptance, digital currency exchange Coinbase now boasts more accounts than brokerage firm Charles Schwab.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

According to its website, Coinbase has 13 mln users while the number of Schwab brokerage accounts stood at 10.6 mln as of the end of 2016. These numbers don’t paint a complete picture, since the amount of assets controlled by Schwab certainly vastly exceeds those of Coinbase users. Nevertheless, the actual number of users indicates a massive volume of adoption, as the public begins to dabble in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase user numbers have grown by 167% this year.

One month ago, Mike Novogratz was the first to predict a $10,000 price in 6 to 10 months. It may come in that many weeks instead.  As a store of value, Novogratz likened bitcoin to digital gold, and said the technology is beginning to make "more and more sense" as we move increasingly into the digital. Novogratz continued to say that, while bitcoin is a bubble, the mania is justified, because it is a technological advancement that promises to fundamentally alter our lives.

"I can hear the herd coming" Novogratz said.

And bubble or not, Novogratz concluded eloquently on the extreme nature of cryptocurrencies' potential...

“Remember, bubbles happen around things that fundamentally change the way we live,” he said. “The railroad bubble. Railroads really fundamentally changed the way we lived. The internet bubble changed the way we live. When I look forward five, 10 years, the possibilities really get your animal spirits going.”

Bitcoin is set to become "the biggest bubble of our time," he added, and could reach $10,000 very soon due to fast-building interest. In retrospect, he may be right much faster than even he anticipated.


tmosley remain calm Sun, 11/26/2017 - 10:33 Permalink

That's not an argument.But this is: Bitcoin's recent network congestion and astronomical fees, while they have abated, are now a spectre overhanging the market, as NOTHING has been done to address it. It could happen again at any time, and likely will as the number of on-chain transactions increases due to all this new money flooding in. If this dumb money just keeps their coins on the exchange, then it is purely speculative, and it will crash spectacularly at the next big downturn, which happens in BTC on a nearly monthly basis.If they can speed adoption of SegWit and hurry up with Lightning, then they have a chance. As it is, they have none.

In reply to by remain calm

rrrr tmosley Sun, 11/26/2017 - 12:16 Permalink

 Listen to me! Some very astute people are saying that bitcoin is in a bubble. Their evidence is true and valid. And they are smart. Also experienced. Much respected. Even I respect some of them. There is just one thing though, that they are missing. And it is the biggest thing that matters. All of the ten largest asset bubbles in history had one thing in common: They each occurred at a time and in a place where the people who could participate in them were, compared with Bitcoin today, very small in number. In 1770, Bonn Germany was a town of 9,000 people. In February of 1637, when the Tulip Bulb Mania peaked, the population of Europe was even smaller than it was in 1770. Moreover, the Tulip Mania was generally confined to the Netherlands. Today the population of Netherlands is about 17 million. In 1630, it was less than two million. Not all of these people grew tulips. The trade was growing and the mania occurred, but the number of people who actually were buying tulip bulbs was a comparatively small number, particularly at the point when it peaked. Right now the Bitcoin phenomenon is not exactly like that. Of course the sentence, "It's different this time", is said to be a sign of danger, because the sun always comes up in the same place every morning, doesn't it? No. Really it doesn't. The earth wobbles, and because of this the sun does not always come up at the same place. In fact, difference is the mark of our universe, not uniformity. So the words, "This time is different", are typically not untrue. I admit that that's a ridiculous example, but the truth is that everything is always different, and to say that such a sentence is always correct is incorrect. So, this time it IS different, and here's how: The number of persons who are capable of buying Bitcoin today probably number in the many tens of millions, and if it expands into common usage, maybe hundreds of millions, or even a billion (I think that's a stretch, but a hundred million appears realistic, given the fact that Bitcoin is available not only in Holland but all over the world.). That really does make this Bitcoin bubble quite different. Specific numbers are hard to come up with and are not reliable, but a little research turned up the following numbers. In January of 2017, Bitcoin was owned, in some amount, by 17 million people. The earth's population is about 7.6 billion. So 17 million, out of 7.6 billion, is just over two tenths of one percent (one out of every 447 persons on earth, approximately). The tulip mania was mostly confined to Holland, and though it might surprise some people Holland is not the entire earth. Right now, skepticism rules. Before a bubble becomes fully developed, euphoria occurs. With Bitcoin euphoria has not occurred. Yes, many people on these websites are talking about Bitcoin, but that's not the population of the earth. It's only a few people who tend to be ahead of most other people, and who also write about it. It's an extremely small number of people. It wouldn't be hard for them to be wrong, and I think they are. Again, reliable numbers are hard to come up with, but it's estimated that in the USA, at least one person in three owns at least one share of stock. Granted, the USA is rich, for now, and much of the rest of the world is very poor by comparison. But it's not all poor. And if one out of every three persons in the USA owns at least one share of stock, how would you argue that out of the entire population of the earth it will never happen that one out of every thirty people will own at least some amount of Bitcoin? That would be more than 250 million people total. To me this seems not totally unlikely to happen sooner or later, and it could be more. So I think "Buckle up. It's going to be an interesting ride", is more appropriate to say, than, "Bitcoin is in a bubble and it's not different this time". Sure it's in a bubble. For now. But that's only if its use doesn't become common. If it does, that would indeed be very different. Banks are buying it. People who are smarter than most other people, and who have become incredibly rich by buying into it when it had zero credibility, are continuing to hold onto it. Doesn't that mean something? Yes, the sun could go nova tomorrow, but now it's not and we are here, and it does make sense to roll down your window if the air conditioner isn't working, even if the world is going to end before dinner. I do not know what you will choose, but, as for me, give me liberty or give me ..., well, for now I'll be satisfied with some Bitcoin just for the fun of it, if for nothing else. Does any of this make sense? It kind of just came out in a big wad, if you know what I mean, after many months of thinking. (Yes, I own some.) Sorry this is so disorganized, but my time is limited, and I need to put another iron into the fire. 

In reply to by tmosley

East Indian rccalhoun Sun, 11/26/2017 - 12:28 Permalink

Because it does not matter who issues a crypto; it only really matters if the whole code is available in the open, if the miners get a fair return, if the promoters try to milk the crypto by premining, etc. And AMZN or GOOG cant have any advantage just by issuing a crypto; they must also "work" to earn their own crypto. And the idea of honest work to earn money is alien to GooG or AmzN.

In reply to by rccalhoun

Lore rccalhoun Sun, 11/26/2017 - 18:15 Permalink

@ "wtf USA govt is going to do."Where've you been?EXPOSED: The real creator of Bitcoin is likely the NSA as One World Currency (21-Jun-2017)THE WINNER: It was the NSAThe NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need.  Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward).  In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world.  Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company....Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned.  Bitcoin is like the prime mover.  All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin.  It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed.  It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes.  Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries.  But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily.  It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked.  It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device).  Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information.  By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely.That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way.  You see, a country IS a currency.  Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American).  Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency.Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists).1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH” available here.

In reply to by rccalhoun

daveO Lore Sun, 11/26/2017 - 20:50 Permalink

I see it a little differently. Bitcoin is being used to divert from Gold. The ability to track transactions is icing on the cake.
Gold was actually the first world currency. The USA hoarded it all and replaced it with paper after the war, claiming that their paper was still backed by gold. De Gualle didn't buy it. They then shut the gold window and created the Petro dollar to further export inflation to foreign lands. That worked just fine until the credit bubble popped in 2008. Now, CCs are diverting substantial money from the PM market. It's electronic subterfuge, just like gold ETFs.

In reply to by Lore

mcbond rrrr Sun, 11/26/2017 - 12:32 Permalink

It will be over soon... Bitcoin: The Big Short!Bitcoin, Altcoins, Cryptos: If you're long, consider taking profits. A massive correction is likely coming. "The Big Short Moment Approaches" There is a much-discussed in the crypto-sphere chart making rounds these days, plotting Bitcoin price dynamics against the historical bubbles of the past:

In reply to by rrrr

tmosley rrrr Sun, 11/26/2017 - 12:46 Permalink

Dat wall of text tho.I didn't say that Bitcoin was a bubble. If it can fix its problems in a HURRY, they will succeed. But they don't appear to be working effectively towards that. I would even argue the opposite.With all these people coming into an ecosystem that relies on a network that is already operating at capacity, well... coin that is responsive to the demands of the market, rather than dismissive of them, will take over afterwards. I have my favorites, but there are other good ones that I should probably own as well.

In reply to by rrrr

Captain Nemo d… rrrr Sun, 11/26/2017 - 13:34 Permalink

In late 90's bankster-types were being chided on CNBC shows as to why they were not "getting" tech stocks and that they would be left behind by the public making more money than them as these stocks zoomed up daily. The idea was banksters were unable to understand how the public perception had changed that cash flows and revenues were irrelevant to valuation because these companies were the wave of the future and would change the way we live and work.As far as the number of people is concerned the tech bubble was not limited to the US. In the early days of tech mania a cement company in India simply added "Technology" to its name and its price immediately rocketed off the charts.The internet is not free all over the world. If governments in countries, which do not use bitcoin currently to any significant extent, start to lose control because of expanding usage they will put an end to it.

In reply to by rrrr

Bumpo rrrr Sun, 11/26/2017 - 15:33 Permalink

I think the value of "One" (1) bitcoin freaks a lot of people out. Hell, I was freaked out at $14 to the Bitcoin when I first looked into it. I thought, "$14 for an invisible coin?" Uhm, too risky. Shit, I wish I had. Once we we start talking about "Satoshis", instead of Bitcoin, and move that decimal over a few spaces, bitcoin may be more digestable ...Bitcoin 101:Each bitcoin (BTC) is divisible to the 8th decimal place, so each BTC can be split into 100,000,000 units. Each unit of bitcoin, or 0.00000001 bitcoin, is called a satoshi. A Satoshi is the smallest unit of Bitcoin.

In reply to by rrrr

HRClinton Bumpo Sun, 11/26/2017 - 19:28 Permalink

You didn't get rich on BTC, for the same reason that 99.9% of ZHers didn't:You lack the rare and precious skill of System Analysis, and you lack Vision.For this reason, you saw it merely as a "speculative asset", and not the primordial seed of a whole new ecosystem. In EVERY "gold rush", there are more millionaires created by infrastructure salesmen (those selling picks, shovels, and supplies), than by panning or mining for gold. Even when the Rush ended, the cities and commerce endured. So too it will be with CCs.

In reply to by Bumpo

Lore rrrr Sun, 11/26/2017 - 18:31 Permalink

@rrr:  Consider the PARTICIPATION RATE in each of those past bubbles, and compare it to this one.  Next, consider the MONEY SUPPLY as it pertains to the amount of cash going into cryptos.  People are too focused on nominal market capitalization ("Wowee, look at all those zeroes!"), failing to consider what the numbers actually mean in terms of real value, which is completely excluded from the picture. This also is why the commentary at the top of the page is garbage: "As a store of value, Novogratz likened bitcoin to digital gold."  Holy shit!  There are none so blind as those who will not see.  IT ISN'T A STORE OF VALUE AT ALL. None of these dumbasses stops to consider where the supply of money is coming from, and more importantly, WHERE IS IT GOING?  WHO HAS IT?  WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH IT? Fundamental questions met with blank stares... Honey TrappingPer the NSA article posted previously, BTC appears to be a mechanism for taking conventional money from the citizenry in order to support the interests of Big Brother and organized crime. 

In reply to by rrrr

tmosley blentus Sun, 11/26/2017 - 22:02 Permalink

Yet you have ZERO answer as to how to prevent another congestion event. All you can do is pretend that I don't know what I am talking about. Ad hominem.I don't cite my own credibility, I make ARGUMENTS, and those arguments stand on their own until you knock them down with better ones. The fact is that there is NOTHING preventing that from happening again, and it is only likely to get WORSE as more and more people flood into the sector.But I guess you will blame THEM too, for "not knowing how to use something".

In reply to by blentus

btClunker rrrr Mon, 11/27/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

I'd say it's differed this time but in reference to bitcoins other "bubbles".  From the $6 to $140 and now the $800 levels. Seen on a logarithmic chart each bubble ended above the last.  I think it has to do with the participant's idea of expensive. The $6 level participants don't have the same idea as what's expensive and the current market participants. This also may be the first market where the common man was able to participate before the professionals. I won't feel bad handing someone the "bag" at 400k. Bubble only looks at price and time. Present participation is a large factor that needs to be considered like you said, population. Questions is, what is the population thinking and how much is "expensive" for them. 

In reply to by rrrr

tmosley Raffie Sun, 11/26/2017 - 13:39 Permalink

Note his retweet of guy saying that they have a "moral obligation" to call BCH Bcash. Does this not remind you of the "moral obligation" that antifa professes to have to "punch nazis"?These people are going to kill your coin just like they have killed the Democratic Party and the Left.

In reply to by Raffie

SWRichmond tmosley Sun, 11/26/2017 - 16:21 Permalink

Here is my fundamental problem with Bitcoin: what is to stop governments, or anyone for that matter, from issuing more, even an almost infinite number, of crryptos?  What is to prevent this type of dilution of the market?  BTC isn't any more real than any other fiat, it's value is based on even less than gov issued fiats, which at least are backed by forceful taxation and warmaking.BTC is less real than tally sticks.  And easier to copy.

In reply to by tmosley

tmosley SWRichmond Sun, 11/26/2017 - 18:55 Permalink

>What is to prevent this type of dilution of the market?That doesn't dilute the market any more than the creation of a new corporation dilutes the stock of existing corporations. If they demonstrate a use case that the others can't or won't cover, they may find a place at the table.>BTC is less real than tally sticks.  And easier to copy.BTC in particular has problems, but it is NOT "not real". You need to get over that kind of thinking immediately or you are going to get yourself electrocuted by "not real" electricity, or some other such foolishness. You can copy the protocol all you like, but without a network to run/back it, you don't have anything of value. Something like BCH, which is endeavoring to create an environment that is good for both users and miners, can get some of the hashing power from the BTC network, and if either one loses that hashing power in a big way (BTC needs much more of it to operate than BCH), then the coin will die.

In reply to by SWRichmond