Cryptocompare, a data website that analyses bitcoin trading across dozens of exchanges globally, said around 50 percent of trading volume over the past 24 hours had been on the bitcoin/Japanese yen exchange rate, according to Reuters.
"The Japanese have recently warmed their approach towards bitcoin by treating it legally as a form of payment – a ratification and bringing into the regulatory fold," said Charles Hayter, the website's founder.
"China's clampdown on exchanges can also be seen as a positive move for the industry too," he added.
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Bitcoin surged as much as 3 percent on Tuesday on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange, where trading is dollar-denominated, to hit $1,437, its highest since its 2008 launch. That marked a more than 200 percent increase from its price in early May last year.
Its current levels put the total value of all bitcoins in circulation – the so-called "market cap" – close to $25 billion, putting its worth on a par with a large-cap company.
Bitcoin analysts said the price had also been boosted by a request by the BATS exchange that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission review its March decision not to approve a bitcoin-tracking ETF set up by the Winklevoss brothers.