Bitcoin climbed above $2,000 for the first time Saturday on increased demand from Japanese and Chinese investors.
The digital currency rose more than 4.5 percent to hit an all-time high of $2,061.88, according to CoinDesk.com. Bitcoin was last trading near $2,047.
Japan accounted for nearly 55 percent of trade volume, up from near 40 percent Thursday, according to CryptoCompare.com.
Prices for bitcoin on the Hong Kong-based Bitfinex exchange rose, narrowing a recent gap with the global rate in anticipation that bitcoin traded on Bitfinex can soon be easily converted to U.S. dollars.
Chris Burniske, a blockchain products lead analyst at fund manager ARK Invest, pointed out in a tweet Saturday that the difference between Chinese and U.S. exchanges for the price of the digital currency narrowed from a 20 percent gap to 5 percent in just a week.
Bitcoin jumped near $1,900 Thursday amid reports of possible political scandal in the U.S. and Brazil that sent traders looking for safe assets. Some analysts believe the often volatile digital currency can one day vie with gold as a safety trade. Gold futures rose more than 2 percent last week to settle at $1,253.60.
Analysts also noted higher interest in bitcoin due to several major cryptocurrency conferences in New York these two weeks.
The cryptocurrency’s market capitalization has gained more than $5 billion in the…