Bitcoin saw a massive, sudden spike just after it broke through a closely watched milestone Tuesday night.
The cryptocurrency traded at an all-time high of $10,831.75 just after 12:30 a.m. ET, according to industry site CoinDesk. That represented a more than 10 percent jump from its price around $9,830 just 24 hours earlier.
In fact, much of that incredible gain had come in just the last four hours after the cryptocurrency smashed through the $10,000 mark that many analysts had been hyping for months.
All told, it's been an exponential ascent from 6 cents seven years ago and less than $1,000 at the start of this year.
Since bitcoin's market capitalization is less than $200 billion, enthusiasts point out the digital currency could rise dramatically if it draws even a tiny fraction of the world's $200 trillion in traditional financial market assets.
More than 120 "cryptofunds" have launched, including some run by Wall Street veterans, according to financial research firm Autonomous Next. In another move towards establishing bitcoin's legitimacy as an asset class, the world's largest futures exchange, CME, is planning to launch bitcoin futures in the second week of December.