Bitcoin started Wednesday with a major rally that pushed its price beyond $12,000—and then really started taking off in a stunning 18-hour run that saw its price reach as high as $13,275 by late afternoon. [Update: Shortly after this story, bitcoin broke the $14,000 mark.]
The latest buying spree, which defies chatter about a bubble ready to pop, appears to have driven by a recent frenzy of interest among South Korean speculators and news that bitcoin derivatives will be sold in the U.S. by next week.
Wednesday’s run also reflects how $1,000 price gains for bitcoin, which used to take place over weeks or months, now occur in days or hours. Today’s jump is reminiscent of how bitcoin jumped from $10,000 to $11,000 in around 12 hours on November 29.
Here is a chart, courtesy of Coindesk, that shows what the bitcoin market looked like in the last 24 hours: