The value of the digital currency bitcoin soared 12 percent Thursday to an all-time high after reports suggested Chinese authorities may not completely ban cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin reached as high as $5,391, according to global financial website investing.com.
The cryptocurrency has risen 17 percent this week, 24 percent since the beginning of the month and 454 percent year-to-date, data compiled from investing.com showed.
Last month, China’s government banned cryptocurrency exchanges, causing Bitcoin’s value to drop below $3,000 in mid-September. It also banned initial coin offerings, a means of raising funds by selling off new digital tokens.
China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency recently reported that the Chinese government is concerned about criminal activities involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, noting that cryptocurrencies have become the “top choice” for underground economies.
Bitcoin’s sudden rise in value came after the website cryptocoinnews.com said Wednesday that China would resume trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with more regulation, citing a report from Xinhua. It said this may include new licensing and anti-money laundering regulations to be implemented by exchanges.
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. It is called the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central repository or single administrator.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York