It’s been an interesting day for crypto-currency Bitcoin after its valuation passed $600 on a trading platform for the first time, while another major trading company (the world’s largest for Bitcoin) landed a $5 million investment.
Bitcoin seemed in trouble back in October when its valuation tumbled as low as $119 following the FBI seizure of illicit goods marketplace Silk Road, but today BTC China, which recently overtook Japan-based Mt. Gox as the trading system processing the largest volume of Bitcoin, announced a $5 million Series A round of investment — as Technode reports.
Also today, the currency’s valuation passed a record high of $618.94 on Mt.Gox, known for being one of the most reputable indicators of Bitcoin, before dropping down to a steadier number in the $560-$580 range, as charts from Clark Moody show — though the average price remained under $550, according to CoinDesk.
The investment in BTC China comes at an interesting time. Markets and users situated outside of the US — and China in particularly — are waking up to the potential of the virtual currency.
Bitcoin isn’t banned in the US, but the FBI has seized virtual funds held by a number of companies — including Dwolla, which recently ended its support Bitcoin — while lawmakers and financial institutions have adopted a cautious approach and refused to engage with Bitcoin and affiliated companies.
That’s led to a growth in overseas companies handling the currency. Coindesk notes that the top four trading platforms are all non-US:
(1) BTC China traded $298.4m in XBT/CNY (based in China)
(2) Mt. Gox traded $232.8m in XBT/USD (based in Japan)
(3) BitStamp traded $200m in XBT/USD (based in Slovenia)
(4) btc-e traded $119.8m in XBT/USD (based in Bulgaria)
BTC China handles 80,000 in transactions per day, that’s over $50 million worth of the currency. Demand in China and among investors continues to be high despite another Chinese platform disappearing with $4.1 million in customer money just weeks ago.
Earlier this month, Bitcoin had doubled its value in a little over four weeks as it hit a record high of $267. Even today, the average price is considerably higher, and it will be fascinating to watch the dynamic and long-time future of the currency play out now it has significant mass in the US, China and other places.
Image via Antana / Flickr