The price of the digital currency bitcoin soared above $1,000 for the first time on Wednesday, extending a surge this month after a US Senate hearing on virtual currencies.
Bitcoin hit a high of $1,044 on Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox, the best-known operator of a bitcoin digital marketplace, compared with just below $900 the previous day.
At the beginning of the month, bitcoin, the currency that is not backed by a government or central bank, traded at around $215. Bitcoin advocates say last weekís Senate hearing gave more legitimacy to the currency, which has been gaining acceptance by public and investors but has yet to become an accepted form of payment on the websites of major retailers.