The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) has broken above the psychological level of $7,000 for the first time in more than a month following a surge in late Tuesday trading.
The original cryptocurrency spent the better part of yesterday’s session defending the $6,700 level it had topped on Monday. The digital coin was mostly stable during the session, hovering around its Monday close of $6,741.75. This changed in late afternoon trading, with the coin experiencing a sudden price jump that allowed it to break above the $7,000 mark. Bitcoin rose by more than 10% to an intraday high of $7,387.24, before closing the session at $7,321.04.
Bitcoin’s move was part of a larger upswing affecting the wider digital currency market. The market has reacted to some positive developments this week, including reports that the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is looking into cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Yesterday’s surge, in particular, may have been triggered by news that Mastercard has won a US patent for a method of speeding up crypto transaction.
While noting that there has been "increased usage" in cryptocurrencies by consumers who "value anonymity and security”, the document pointed to the long processing times of blockchain-based payments as one of drawbacks of these type of transactions.
"There is a need to improve on the storage and processing of transactions that utilize blockchain currencies," the patent said.
The method, proposed by Mastercard could reduce these transaction times, by allowing cardholders to instantly pay for things on their credit card with a fraction of their digital currency.
While Mastercard hasn’t brought any products on the market, the patent is a positive development for the crypto sector, according to Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Tom Lee.
“It’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction,” Lee told CNBC yesterday.
Bitcoin has extended its gains in today’s trading, rising to $7,498.46 in the early hours of the session. This was Bitcoin’s highest price level since June 10, according to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap.
As of 08:29 BST, the Bitcoin price stood at $7,427.94, up 10.7% from the same time yesterday.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.