Bitcoin is on the wires today with the most popular cryptocurrency setting a new all-time high at $1481.73 (as quoted on BitStamp). The surge follows up on a massive spike higher in the second most-popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum. The combined market cap of the two is now above $30 billion.
Bitcoin surpassed its previous high in the run-up to the prospect for an approval of an ETF based on its value. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did however turn down the application of the Winklevoss twins in March, causing the price of the cryptocurrency to decline from about $1350 to less than $900 before the current rally started.
Throughout April, Bitcoin and a variety of other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and DASH have been surging higher. Last week the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum rallied over 50 percent to hit a market cap of about $7 billion.
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Trading volumes over the past 30 days reached almost $9.5 billion for Bitcoin and over $3.2 billion for Ethereum.
Bitcoin’s ascend has been driven by interest from Japanese investors, as the trading volume via Japanese yen represented over 50 percent of the total volume. Japan has recently started accepting Bitcoin as a legal form of payment, causing increased interest locally.
Japanese traders are notoriously keen in diversifying their currencies portfolio as the value of the Japanese yen is materially affected by the Bank of Japan’s money printing machine. In foreign exchange markets, traders from Japan are the most active ones, especially in periods of increased volatility in the loan currency.