Bitcoin hit a historic high of over $1400 dollars on Tuesday after having more than tripled in value in a year, its most recent rise being attributed to strong demand from Japan where this virtual currency is become an officially recognized means of payment.
Cryptocompare, a data site analyzing bitcoin exchanges across dozens of platforms around the world, said that about half of the volume of transactions seen in the last 24 hours was about the exchange rate between bitcoin and the yen .
“The Japanese have recently softened their approach to bitcoin by treating it legally as a means of payment, ratification and integration into the regulatory arena,” said Charles Hayter, founder of the site.
“China’s crackdown on trading platforms can also be seen as a positive factor for the sector,” he added.
The Chinese authorities have tightened the monitoring of these platforms and forced them to apply transaction fees because they fear that bitcoin, launched in 2008, will be used to circumvent capital controls and money laundering operations.
The value of bitcoin surged nearly 5% Tuesday on the European platform Bitstamp to reach $ 1,455 shortly after 11:00 GMT. Its increase is over 200% since early May 2016.
At this level, the total value of bitcoins in circulation is close to 25 billion dollars (22.9 billion euros), almost the market capitalization of a group like Vivendi.