Bitcoin rises back to $1,000

<p>Bitcoin is once more worth over $1,000.</p>

Virtual currency Bitcoin has risen in value again and soared back above the $1,000 (£610) mark.

Having lost over a third of its value in just a few days in December, the currency has come back strongly and has started 2014 in positive fashion.

The latest boost to the value of Bitcoin – which is best known for being used to buy illegal goods and services via the internet – has come after gaming firm Zynga announced it would resume taking payments using the virtual currency, reports BBC News.

Bitcoin's value crashed to as low as 2,560 yuan (£258) in December after China restricted the amount of trade that could take place using Bitcoin, but the virtual currency has shown resilience by bouncing back in the last few weeks.

Ouya, the Android-based video games console-maker, announced that it would take Bitcoin payments recently, increasing the relevance of the virtual currency in the real world. With Zynga following suit, it appears more likely that Bitcoin will be here to stay in the coming months.

Zynga has reached a deal with BitPay, a Bitcoin payment service, to allow its users to make payments using the virtual currency. In a post on Reddit, the firm said: "In response to Bitcoin's rise in popularity around the world, Zynga, with help from BitPay, is testing expanded payment options for players to make in-game purchases using Bitcoin."

Bitcoin media storm

The rise of Bitcoin has led to various stories emerging in the press in recent months, such as the Australian man who wants to sell his Perth family home for the virtual currency and the Briton who threw out a hard drive containing millions of pounds worth of Bitcoin.

However, some commentators remain sceptical about virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, although legislators in the US have spoken of the need to treat it as a legitimate currency.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) is among the bodies to have warned of the legal dangers of Bitcoin. It recently said: "Currently, no specific regulatory protections exist in the European Union that would protect consumers from financial losses if a platform that exchanges or holds virtual currencies fails or goes out of business."

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