Bitcoin stages parabolic jump to near $14,000, surging 320% since December as euphoria sets in — again

A crypto winter for digital assets has given way to a white-hot summer.

The world’s No.1 cryptocurrency rose to its highest level in about 17 months Wednesday, extending its rally to nearly 60% in June so far.

At the day’s peak, Bitcoin futures

BTCM19, +20.25%

hit an intraday high on CME Group Inc.

CME, -3.17%

 at $13,680, and isn’t far from that level now at $13,330 in afternoon action, according to FactSet data.

Bitcoin prices

BTCUSD, +7.58%

on CoinDesk also were surging, near $13,272.

Gains for Bitcoin, the digital coin created back in 2009, have taken its market value, the total of all Bitcoin’s in circulation, to $237 billion. Wednesday’s rally means that Bitcoin’s value now represents 62.6% of all digital currencies tracked by data site At its peak on Dec. 16, 2017, Bitcoin’s market value was at $326.5 billion.

It’s unclear what has driven Bitcoin’s price higher lately, but after values reached a December nadir at $3,194.96, the asset has recovered, climbing 319%.

Some market participants point to increased investment volume in Bitcoin, reflecting more appetite for the cryptographic asset, as institutional investors, including traditional companies, have launched crypto-related ventures.

Michael Moro, CEO of digital currency trading platform Genesis Global Trading, said “ volumes are 2x to 3x higher than where we were 12 months ago,” in emailed comments.

“While this rise in volume has come from increased activity among our usual buyer base of hedge funds and family offices, an interesting new buyer group has emerged for us – endowments of private schools. This new group helps highlight how Bitcoin and crypto adoption is spreading,” he said.

Facebook Inc.’s

FB, -0.62%

proposed Libra coin will use blockchain, the digital-ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, to create a digital currency that the social-media giant and its dozens of backers, including Uber Technologies Inc.

UBER, -1.37%

  Visa Inc.

V, -0.13%

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