Bitcoin’s price continued to climb over the weekend, shattering the $4,000 mark on Saturday and climbing to more than $4,200 on Sunday. And though the world’s most well-known digital currency saw its price decline slightly from that high-water mark, the price of one Bitcoin is now more than four times what it was at the start of this year. Bitcoin’s market capitalization has also surged to roughly $64 billion.
The most recent price increase has been largely due to Japanese demand for the cryptocurrency. The Japanese government’s formal recognition of Bitcoin earlier this year has helped to spark a surge of interest from businesses and traders alike, with several hundred thousand retailers expected to accept Bitcoin by the end of this year.
CNBC has observed that a number of factors seem to be contributing to Bitcoin’s renewed strength in recent days, including uncertainty in the world’s stock markets and increased worries about North Korea’s nuclear program and potential conflict with the United States.
According to CryptoCompare, more than 45% of yesterday’s trading volume involved Japanese yen. Another quarter of all trading involved U.S. dollars. Chinese and South Korean trading accounted for most of the remaining trade on the day.
Analysts have noted increasing confidence in the digital currency in the aftermath of the SegWit2X activation, as Bitcoin seems to have shrugged off some users’ initial concern over the creation of Bitcoin Cash. Many in the industry expect transaction speeds to increase in the near-term, which should help to further strengthen user and investor confidence.