Bitcoin jumps $200 in single day and has nearly doubled in May on surging global demand

Key Points
  • The cryptocurrency briefly leaped more than 11 percent to hit an all-time high of $2,289.21, according to
  • CoinDesk's two-and-a-half-day digital currency conference Consensus kicked off Monday.
  • Bitcoin first crossed $2,000 on Saturday on increased demand from Japanese and Chinese investors.
Bitcoin surges

Bitcoin added more than $200 Monday at one point amid a major New York conference on digital currencies, following a surge in weekend interest from Asian investors.

The cryptocurrency briefly leaped more than 11 percent past $2,100 and $2,200 to hit an all-time high of $2,289.21, according to Bitcoin was last trading near $2,236, about $400 short of doubling in value for May.

On Monday, the bitcoin news site kicked off its two-and-a-half-day digital currency conference, Consensus. The third annual conference is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees to New York.

"There is a lot of excitement and announcements of new projects which is contributing to the euphoria," said Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM.

Bitcoin one-month performance

Source: CoinDesk

Also on Monday, an alliance for a digital currency system called ethereum announced 86 new members, including financial communications company Broadridge, clearinghouse DTCC and consulting firm Deloitte. Units of non-financial firms Samsung, Merck and Toyota also joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which counts JPMorgan, Intel and Microsoft among its initial members.

The alliance seeks to develop technology and standards for ethereum, which some see as a potential structure for a decentralized, next-generation internet.

"What we're seeing is people realizing that there's a macro impact to how we operate the economy potentially," Andrew Keys, head of global business development at blockchain software developer ConsenSys, told CNBC in a phone interview.

Blockchain is the financial accounting system underpinning bitcoin, ethereum and other digital currencies.

In addition to Consensus, at least two other conferences on cryptocurrencies are being held in New York this month: the Ethereal Summit — attended by 471 people last Friday — and the Token Summit scheduled for Thursday.

Investors typically use bitcoin to buy other digital currencies, and interest in those assets helps drive up bitcoin's price.

On Monday, bitcoin trade volume in U.S. dollars accounted for more than 32 percent of bitcoin trading, up from 26 percent last Monday, according to Trade volume in Chinese and Japanese currencies moderated to 16.95 percent and 34.2 percent, the website showed.

Over the weekend, bitcoin topped $2,000 for the first time as trade volume from Japan jumped to 55 percent from 40 percent last week. Analysts also noted bitcoin prices on Chinese exchanges narrowed a recent trading gap with the U.S.-dollar price on expectations that Hong Kong-based Bitfinex is expected to soon restore easy conversion between bitcoin on its exchanges to U.S. dollars.

Japanese authorities increasingly recognize bitcoin as a legal currency — major retailers began accepting it in April.

Several billion in U.S. dollars have flowed into bitcoin in the last week, bringing its market value to more than $37 billion Monday, according to CoinDesk.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that bitcoin was about $400 short of doubling in value for May.