- Bitcoin briefly touched the $5,000 mark on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.
- Other virtual currencies were also higher, with ether and XRP both rising around 10 percent.
- It comes after a massive slump for the cryptocurrency market last year.
Bitcoin jumped suddenly on Tuesday, following months of relatively low volatility in an asset once known for its wild price swings.
The price of the world's largest cryptocurrency bounced more than 15 percent higher to $4,766 as of 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. That marks its highest level since late November, according to CoinDesk.
Earlier Tuesday, bitcoin briefly touched the $5,000 mark on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. The digital asset has added over $14 billion to its market value in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.
The reason for the sudden price jump wasn't immediately clear. Other virtual currencies were also higher, with ether and XRP rising 10 and 9 percent, respectively.
Experts attributed the price hike to a breakout from a closely-watched resistance level of $4,200. Bitcoin had been hovering around the $4,000 mark for several months.
"Bitcoin's break above $4,200 this morning was critical, as the market had been watching that level for a while," Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at trading platform eToro, told CNBC.
"No doubt some entry orders and stop losses were grouped right above." Meaning that certain algorithmic trades had kicked in after it reached this higher level.
It comes after a massive slump for the cryptocurrency market last year. Bitcoin fell over 76 percent in 2018, and is still well below an all-time high near $20,000 it notched in December 2017.
"Bitcoin has been trading range bound for a while now and shaking off some of the negative sentiment that it accrued in 2018," Charles Hayter, chief executive of digital currency comparison firm CryptoCompare, told CNBC.
"This trigger was through volume-led price action driving the price and triggering algos on a breakout."