23:33 GMT +318 December 2017
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    Holy Cryptocurrency Batman! Bitcoin Value Leaps to New Record

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    Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cyptocurrency has broken the $4.25K ceiling Saturday, stabilizing at slightly more than $4K on Sunday, thanks to massive demand in Japan.

    The digital currency hit its record value of $4,225.40 on Saturday, but then fell a bit, to stabilize at about $4,000 per bitcoin on Sunday, according to cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk.

    The currency value added some $600 per unit in less than 48 hours, and over $1000 per unit in about a week, according to the website.

    Bitcoin's market cap is now at some $64 billion, up about $10 billion in the previous week alone.

    According to media reports, the value surged due to the upcoming implementation of a new SegWit protocol that is intended to increase transaction speeds across networks.

    In addition, CNBC reports that demand for bitcoins have surged in Japan, which has traditionally been its largest market. Currently, Japan accounts for nearly 46 percent of global bitcoin trade volume, up from about a 33 percent only one day ago, according to CryptoCompare.

    Earlier in July, Goldman Sachs released a report suggesting that it is becoming harder for institutional investors to ignore the rapidly growing cryptocurrency markets, giving bitcoins an additional boost.

    The virtual currency has been seen to benefit from real-world developments, as South Korean investors reportedly have been seeking for ways to stash earnings in the face of North Korean nuclear threats.

    "Bitcoin is benefitting from geopolitical tensions — trading in Japan and Korea has increased significantly over the last few months," said Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor, who also pointed out that increased attention from the Russian government has contributed somewhat to increasing interest in cryptocurrencies.

    According to the Central Bank of Russia, Moscow will develop a national cryptocurrency over the next two-to-three years, Gazeta.ru reports.

    On July 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Kremlin "approaches cryptocurrencies cautiously, because almost nothing in this sphere is regulated yet," noting that market fluctuations can lead to serious losses for investors.

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    Tags:
    record, currency value, Bitcoin, Goldman Sachs, Vladimir Putin, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Japan
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