In another intraday jump of more than $200, bitcoin surged to a record Thursday on strong Asian demand overnight.
Bitcoin jumped more than 10 percent to an all-time high of $2,752.07, more than twice its April 30 price of $1,347.96 according to CoinDesk. The digital currency last traded near $2,726.
At Thursday’s record, Bitcoin has now gained more than 45 percent since last Thursday and more than 180 percent for the year so far.
Bitcoin 30-day chart
“There is no question that we are in the middle of a price frenzy,” said Brian Kelly of BKCM LLC and a CNBC contributor, in a note to clients Thursday. “There will be a correction and it could be severe, but it’s unclear if that correction will start from current prices of $2700 or from some place much higher.”
Kelly manages a hedge fund focused on digital currencies.
The globally, 24-hour traded asset swept past $2,400 and $2,500 on Wednesday Eastern Time, following a late Tuesday announcement that brought some resolution to a heated debate about the future development of the digital currency. The Digital Currency Group said in an online Medium post that 83 percent of bitcoin miners supported a “Bitcoin Scaling Agreement” for a specific technological upgrade.
Bitcoin prices then pushed higher overnight as demand from Japan, China and South Korea remained solid.
Trade denominated in the Japanese yen accounted for about 31 percent of trade volume Thursday morning Eastern Time, while Chinese yuan and Korean won accounted for 16 and 12 percent, respectively, according to CryptoCompare.
Japanese interest in bitcoin has risen ever since the local government approved bitcoin as a legal payment method in April. Over the weekend, yen-denominated trade volume accounted for more than half of total volume, helping send bitcoin above $2,000 for the first time.
Gains in bitcoin accelerated this week amid two major digital currency conferences in New York: Consensus and the Token Summit.
Digital currency enthusiasts at the summit’s pre-event reception Wednesday evening attributed bitcoin’s rise to increased uses for the currency, the scaling agreement, and interest in other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum, which some see as a potential structure for a decentralized, next-generation internet.
Also called ether, the currency has run up more than 2,000 percent this year, while bitcoin has more than doubled in price.
“I think there’s a lot of hype around this,” Sebastian Wain, business development manager at Argentina-based developer CoinFabrik, told CNBC. He’s cautious but a buyer of digital currencies in the long run as “the fundamentals of the technology are here to stay.”
Wain said he has mostly sold bitcoin to buy other digital currencies and has about $100,000 in ethereum.