Bitcoin arbitrage on Asian regulators’ radar

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 9 Jun 2017

A wave of regulatory changes in major Asian economies like Japan and South Korea has pushed bitcoin trading to an all-time high, but with this growth has come increased offshore arbitrage activity.

The global price of bitcoin has surged considerably in recent months, reaching a record $1,588 early last month, according to Nikkei Asian Review, with trading in Chinese, Japanese and Korean currencies the key drivers.

But market participants have told IFLR that the upshot in trading volumes may have been triggered by significant overseas arbitrage activity by Asian bitcoin investors, often through so-called crypto-asset managers.

"There has been significant arbitrage activity occurring across exchanges in Asia for the past two years," said Aurélien Menant, founder and chief executive of Gatecoin, a regulated bitcoin and ethereum token exchange based in Hong Kong. He added that the bitcoin price in some countries has often traded at a premium compared to...