Web-based searches for the term 'bitcoin,' which was added to Oxford Dictionaries Online this year, have seen a sharp increase since September according to Google data. On the day of the U.S. Senate hearing on virtual currencies, 'bitcoin' was the most popular search term, Google Trends showed.
(Read more: Winklevosses: Bitcoin worth at least 100 times more)
India will hold its first official Bitcoin conference in mid-December. According to a report in the Economic Times, the event is expected to see participation from the Reserve Bank of India – India's central bank – as well as State Bank of India – the country's largest bank.
Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson said last Friday that his commercial space flight venture will accept bitcoin as payment.
(Read more: Richard Branson: Buy your space flight with bitcoin)
A test of whether the digital currency is being accepted more broadly could come with the second annual 'Bitcoin Black Friday' this week. The event will be held one day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. According to the official promotional website for the event, merchants selling everything from web hosting to organic beer will offer special deals to anyone paying in Bitcoin.
—By CNBC's John Phillips. Follow him on Twitter @J_Phillips_CNBC