Bitcoin Holds onto Gains as it Rises Above $8,600

27 May 2019, 11: 16
© Reuters.

Bitcoin hit its highest level against the dollar in over a year on Monday, holding onto overnight gains after increased activity in Asia pushed it above $8,700.

Bitcoin jumped 8.5% to $8,702.30 as of 7:05 AM ET (11:05 GMT) on the Index. As usual, there was no clear driver on the sudden price increase, which happened during a half-hour period during Asian trading hours. Trading in the U.S. and U.K. are expected to be thin, as markets are closed for public holidays.

Bitcoin has had a resurgence this year, gaining 140% so far. It's on track to post its best month in nearly two years in May, amid a spate of news indicating growing interest in digital currency from mainstream companies. Still, Bitcoin remains far below the $19,000 level that it reached in 2017.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly creating its own digital coin, although reports suggest this would be a "stablecoin" backed by U.S. dollars rather than computer power. Elsewhere Fidelity Investments is finalizing plans to buy and sell digital assets for institutional customers, while HTC has launched a phone that stores digital coins. U.S. telecom giant AT&T (NYSE:T) is going to allow customers to use payment processor BitPay to settle their online bills, although - again - there's no indication that it will price its services in anything other than dollars.

Other digital coins were also higher, with Ethereum up 6.9% to $266.39 and XRPgained 7% to $0.40928 while Litecoin surged 11% to $113.78.