Bitcoin is back on the charge in Asian trade after posting strong gains overnight.
Prices rallied by around 8% in the North American session, following confirmation from South Korean authorities that they will not ban crypto trading exchanges.
The resulting gains saw Bitcoin rise back above $US9,000, and a short time ago Bitcoin was trading at a two-week high above $US9,700:
Bitcoin has now risen by more than 60% since February 6, when prices crashed below $US6,000 amid jitters in other asset classes such as stocks and bonds.
As is often the case, gains in Bitcoin have extended to other alt-coins with each of the more well-established digital currencies reporting intra-day gains of at least 5%.
Litecoin — which is scheduled to split in two on Monday morning Australian time — has been the best performer over the last 24 hours, climbing by around 40%.
That follows an announcement by Coinbase — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US — that it is setting up a platform which will allow merchants to accept e-commerce payments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.
While Bitcoin prices appear to have steadied after bouncing off recent lows, the market remains subject to significant volatility as it faces increasing regulatory scrutiny.
The catalyst for the latest rise was a congressional hearing in the US, where two financial regulators — the CFTC and the SEC — said they would take a “do no harm approach” to the crypto market, while monitoring initial coin offerings (ICOs) more closely.
Domestically, the Australian Taxation Office has announced it will establish a taskforce to monitor cryptocurrency transactions, with the first meeting to be held this month.
Yesterday, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia became the first of the major Australian banks to ban crypto trading using on credit cards.
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