Bitcoin re-approaches the $400-level as market sentiment improves – Bitcoin prices rallied to hit the highest level in more than two weeks on Wednesday, as increased appetite for the virtual currency boosted prices.
Bitcoin (BTC/USD) touched a session high of $397.36 on Slovenia-based BitStamp earlier in the day, the most since October 16.
Prices last traded at $397.02 during U.S. morning hours, up $28.27, or 7.67%.
The price of a bitcoin on Bulgaria-based BTC-e added $29.81, or 8.21%, to trade at $392.81, while prices on Singapore-based itBit advanced $20.94, or 5.58%, to trade at $395.94.
According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency rallied 7.75% to trade at $395.44.
Bitcoin prices have been well-supported in recent sessions as investors returned to the market amid bullish chart signals.
Prices of the virtual currency are up nearly 20% since hitting a recent low of $317.80 on November 1.
The price increase has been accompanied by a rise in trading volume and coincides with the recent crackdown of U.S. and European authorities against illegal websites operating on the so-called Tor network, such as online drug marketplace Silk Road 2.0.
Meanwhile, euro-denominated Bitcoin prices (BTC/EUR) tacked on €18.00, or 6.12%, to trade at €312.00 on U.S.-based Kraken Exchange.
Elsewhere, yuan-denominated Bitcoin prices on Shanghai-based BTC China rose 173.57 yuan, or 7.74%, to trade at 2,415.00 yuan, while prices on Beijing-based OKCoin increased 181.71 yuan, or 8.15%, to trade at 2,411.49 yuan.
Bitcoin is digital cash and is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.
Prices of the virtual currency are down nearly 42% from its June highs of $683, and roughly 67% below its all-time high near the $1,240-level hit in late November 2013.
Bitcoin’s market cap is down to just $4 billion, after peaking at $13.9 billion in December 2013, even as the virtual currency has been getting more popular with merchants and retailers in recent months, including PayPal, Expedia, and Dell.