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Bitcoin jumps to a record, nears $1,500 on a spike in demand from Japan

  • The digital currency is up almost 7 percent so far in May to an all-time high of $1,442.58 on Tuesday, according to CoinDesk.
  • Analyst Alex Sunnarborg pointed to a spike in global trading volume, especially from Japan and its bitFlyer bitcoin exchange.
  • Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital, attributed much of the move to greater interest from long-term investors.
A man walks out of a shop displaying a bitcoin sign during the opening ceremony of the first bitcoin retail shop in Hong Kong on February 28, 2014.
Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images
A man walks out of a shop displaying a bitcoin sign during the opening ceremony of the first bitcoin retail shop in Hong Kong on February 28, 2014.

Bitcoin leaped to a fresh record high Tuesday, spurred by a jump in global trading activity.

The digital currency climbed almost 3 percent to an all-time high of $1,442.58 Tuesday, according to CoinDesk. The currency has jumped almost 7 percent in the two days to begin May.

Alex Sunnarborg, a CoinDesk research analyst, pointed to a spike in global trading volume, especially from Japan and its bitFlyer bitcoin exchange.

There seems to be an increasing amount of capital flows into bitcoin from around the globe.

"The biggest driver right now is you're starting to see institutional investors take a keen interest in the entire sector," said Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital, which recently launched a digital assets fund for outside investors.

"I don't think this is hot money. This is real money that's going to sit around and build the new internet," Kelly said, citing his conversations with institutions and other investors. He also noted that consensus in the bitcoin community has moved in the last several weeks away from Bitcoin Unlimited — which would split the currency into two coins — and toward an upgrade of the existing system, known as Bitcoin Core.

Analysts also pointed to continued investor interest in other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum that are near record highs, driving further demand. These obscure digital currencies usually must be bought and sold with bitcoin, Sunnarborg said, forcing traders to buy bitcoin.

Bitcoin (2012 - 2017)

Source: CoinDesk

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