Bitcoin prices climb after Japan accepts it as legal currency and Kim Dotcom announces a new platform for the cryptocurrency

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Bitcoin has had a rollercoaster year (Source: Getty)

Bitcoin has continued its steady climb back up towards record heights today after falling below $900 at the end of March.

The cryptocurrency is currently trading 3.08 per cent higher at $1,171 on the back of Japan's decision to allow it to be used as a legal method of payment last week and news of a potential online bitcoin payment system.

Investors turned against the currency late last month on worries of a so-called "hard fork", which would essentially break bitcoin into two different currencies.

However, the cryptocurrency gained a vote of confidence and a major step towards the mainstream with Japan's new law, which means bitcoin exchanges have to comply with anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer regulations.

Additionally, Kim Dotcom, the controversial entrepreneur behind file-sharing website Megaupload, said earlier this week he is creating a payments platform called Bitcache which will allow people to be paid for digital content with bitcoin.

After the announcement, Dotcom, who faces charges of copyright infringement and money laundering in the US, tweeted that he expects bitcoin's price to rise to $2,000 soon.

Before the price dropped in late March, the price of bitcoin had swelled to an intraday high of more than $1,350.

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