Bitcoin skyrockets to fresh record high on a spike in demand from Japan

Bitcoin skyrockets to fresh record high on a spike in demand from Japan
PHOTO: Reuters

Bitcoin leaped to a fresh record high Monday, spurred by a jump in global trading activity.

The digital currency briefly surged 5.5 per cent to hit a high of $1,422.22 and was last near $1,415, according to CoinDesk.

Alex Sunnarborg, a CoinDesk research analyst, pointed to a spike in global trading volume, especially from Japan and its bitFlyer bitcoin exchange.

Photo: CNBC

Monday's jump higher is just the latest example of growing flows into bitcoin.

"The biggest driver right now is you're starting to see institutional investors take a keen interest in the entire sector," said Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital, which recently launched a digital assets fund for outside investors.

"I don't think this is hot money. This is real money that's going to sit around and build the new internet," Kelly said, citing his conversations with institutions and other investors. He also noted that consensus in the bitcoin community has moved in the last several weeks away from Bitcoin Unlimited - which would split the currency into two coins - and toward an upgrade of the existing system, known as Bitcoin Core.

Analysts also pointed to continued investor interest in other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum that are near record highs, driving further demand. These obscure digital currencies usually must be bought and sold with bitcoin, Sunnarborg said, forcing traders to buy bitcoin.

Bitcoin (2012 - 2017)

Photo: CNBC

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