North American investors are the big winners in bitcoin’s triumph

World

North American investors are the big winners in bitcoin’s triumph

The cryptocurrency’s boom represents a shift in the market away from East Asia

Tom Wilson and Alun John

Bitcoin has grabbed headlines this week with its dizzying ascent to an all-time high. Yet, under the radar, a trend has been playing out that could change the face of the cryptocurrency market: a huge flow of coin to North America from East Asia.

Bitcoin, the biggest and original cryptocurrency, soared to a record $19,918 on Tuesday, buoyed by demand from investors who variously view the virtual currency as a “risk-on” asset, a hedge against inflation and a payment method gaining mainstream acceptance.

But the boom represents a shift in the market, which has typically been dominated by investors in East Asian nations such as China, Japan and South Korea since the digital currency was invented by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto more than a decade ago...

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