After many months of behaving much like a traditional currency stuck in a sideways groove, the top cryptocurrency Bitcoin has been setting new highs for 2015 since it surpassed $330 on Thursday. It is currently at about $390, according to CoinDesk.
Bitcoin has been in a steady but slow climb since mid-September, after spending much of the year in the $200-$250 range.
Most of the catalyst for Bitcoin’s recent rise comes from continuous reports of financial institutions and venture capitalists investing in the cryptocurrency’s cornerstone technology, known as the blockchain, a public and transparent ledger of all bitcoin transactions.
Moreover, a new report from U.K.-based Magister Advisors, which advises the technology industry, found that the consensus among 30 leading bitcoin companies globally is that bitcoin will become the sixth largest global reserve currency within 15 years.
A reserve currency is normally stored in large amounts by governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves. The U.S. dollar currently being the most popular.
Bitcoin is a “virtual currency” giving users the ability to exchange online credits for goods and services. Through several online exchanges, Bitcoin can also be traded for U.S. dollars and other standard currencies.
Banks, and most recently MasterCard, see a future for Bitcoin’s blockchain technology, with prominent figures from the world of traditional finance praising its potential.
Last week, news broke that Digital Currency Group, a holding firm focused on businesses that deal in bitcoin and its underlying technology, has raised funding from some of the biggest U.S. financial names, including MasterCard; Bain Capital Ventures, the Boston-based venture capital unit of private equity firm Bain Capital; insurance giant New York Life Insurance Company; and Canadian bank CIBC.