Charlie Lee: Japan and South Korea Regulations Good For Bitcoin


On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Litecoin creator and former Coinbase executive Charlie Lee discussed the future of bitcoin, Litecoin, and the cryptocurrency market in the long-term.

Strict Regulations Beneficial For Cryptocurrency Market

During the interview, Lee offered his viewpoint on a wide array of cryptocurrency-related topics including the short-term price trend of Litecoin, current regulatory frameworks for the cryptocurrency market in Japan and South Korea, and the usage of bitcoin and Litecoin as actual currencies.

Over the past month, as CCN reported, the South Korean government has been planning to impose strict regulations on the local cryptocurrency exchange market to better facilitate the growth of the industry and protect investors.

Yesterday, on December 14, the South Korean government directly refuted unconfirmed reports on the possibility of a cryptocurrency trading ban, solidifying its stance in regards to the South Korean cryptocurrency market and its intent to regulate the space.

Lee noted that the imposition of practical regulation by the Japanese and South Korean governments that oversee the second and third largest cryptocurrency exchange markets behind the US is optimistic for the long-term growth of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and Litecoin.

“I think increased regulation will help to reduce the volatility of the coin. A lot of the recent gains have had a lot to do with countries like (South) Korea and Japan really getting into the cryptocurrency space,” said Lee.

He further emphasized that South Korea has replaced China as an emerging cryptocurrency market and that South Korea has been pushing the price of leading cryptocurrencies recently.

“Ever since China banned the bitcoin exchanges, (South) Korea has really taken up the mantle. There is a lot of frenzy in (South) Korea right now and I think that’s driving up the price.”

In August, Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, overtook the country’s main stock market KOSDAQ in daily trading volume, processing nearly $3 billion in cryptocurrency trades.

Will Litecoin and Bitcoin be Used as Actual Currencies?

Currently, bitcoin, Litecoin, and most of the currencies in the cryptocurrency market are being used as stores of value and safe haven assets. Only a small portion of users are utilizing cryptocurrencies to process payments, mostly due to the scalability issues of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum.

Lee explained that it may take at least five years for any of the currency in the cryptocurrency market to be used as an actual currency on a day-to-day basis. But, if the exponential growth rate of the cryptocurrency market can be sustained in the upcoming years, casual users could begin using bitcoin and Litecoin as day-to-day currencies in the mid-term.

“I think we’re still maybe five years away before people actually start using bitcoin and litecoin in real world use as a currency,” said Lee.

On the short-term price trend of Litecoin, Lee stated that he would be satisfied if the price of Litecoin remans above $300 by the end of 2018, given its meteoric rise in value of the past few weeks.

I would be happy if litecoin stays at around $300 by the end of next year.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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