Bitcoins, which exist as software and aren’t regulated by any country or banking authority, surged to a record $1,073 today, up more than 80-fold from a year earlier.
The currency has rallied on growing interest from investors in China and the U.S., while merchants are starting to accept Bitcoins for everything from Gummi bears to tuition fees.
The virtual currency gained credibility this month after law enforcement and securities agencies said in U.S. Senate hearings that Bitcoin could be a legitimate means of exchange.
The rally had gathered steam last month after regulators shut down the Silk Road Hidden Website, where people could obtain guns, drugs and other illicit goods using Bitcoins. That generated optimism the digital money would become more widely used for legal purposes.
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