NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Bitcoin soared to an all-time high above $10,000 on Tuesday in some smaller exchanges and digital currency indexes, but remained just below that milestone in major trading platforms such as Luxembourg-based BitStamp and U.S.-based GDAX.
On CEX.IO, which started out as a cloud mining provider, bitcoin hit $10,234. On crypto-currency index coinmarketcap.com, bitcoin touched $10,050.
But bitcoin has not crossed that $10,000 mark on BitStamp; Coinbase's digital asset exchange GDAX; or Gemini Exchange, owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
Still, bitcoin has gained more than 900 percent so far this year, on increased institutional demand for crypto-currencies as financial and mainstream use has expanded. The first crypto-currency hit a high of $9,968 on BitStamp. It last traded up more than 2 percent on the day at $9,907.70.
"With bitcoin nearing $10,000, long-time bitcoiners finally feel vindicated that their currency that has been ridiculed for years, is at last being taken seriously," said Sol Lederer, blockchain director at San Francisco-based technology company LOOMIA.
"Bitcoin's future is still uncertain; it faces the same serious technical challenges it has for years and faces stiff competition from newer, more sophisticated blockchains. But even if it were to crash, it's apparent that bitcoin is here to stay."
In some of the emerging markets, bitcoin has hit well over $10,000. In Zimbabwe, bitcoin traded at $17,875 on Monday. Tuesday's price in Zimbabwe was not available.
In South Korean exchanges, bitcoin was already at close to $11,000 or higher. It traded at nearly $11,000 on Tuesday on bithumb and hit the $10,000 milestone on Monday. At Coinone, bitcoin traded at more than $11,700, and at $11,734 on Korbit.
Bitcoin has been boosted as exchanges such as the CME Group Inc and the Chicago Board Options Exchange announced plans to launch futures contracts for the currency. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gregorio)