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Bitcoin passes the $800 mark

The digital currency bitcoin has passed the $800 value for the first time since February 2014.

Bitcoin crossed the threshold around 11:40pm GMT and is currently trading around $815.

Charles Hayter, chief executive and founder of digital currency comparison website CryptoCompare, described the move as breaking a "definite psychological barrier."

Bitcoin has been steadily rising in recent months, bolstered by investors looking for safe havens following dramatic political shifts in the world economy. Bitcoin is a very volatile asset, but is generally not correlated with other markets, making it a useful place to invest when other assets fall in value.

"The rally is difficult to pin down as there are a number of contributing factors that include the global economic and political shifts underway with (President-elect Donald) Trump and the Eurozone with Bitcoin becoming a digital hedge and flight to safety," Hayter told CNBC via email.

Bitcoin and Dollar notes
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chinese trading is a significant factor behind bitcoin's above the $800 mark. Trading volumes in China have been "extraordinary", according to Hayter, with 10 million bitcoins traded on days in October and November. This has now subsided to a steady trading of around 3.5 million bitcoins a day.

"A further point is the more fundamental and technical underpinning of bitcoin's evolution with positive moves on scaling - or increasing the number of transactions the network can process," he added.

It has been a good year to be a bitcoin investor. Those who bought the cryptocurrency at the start of the year would have seen their investment grow around 87 percent.

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