Bitcoin breaches $600 barrier

Crypto currency Bitcoin has breached the $600 barrier this morning, having passed $500 yesterday.

In April the digital store of value crashed from $220 - then thought spectacularly high - to fall below $100. While many thought that this may herald the end for the currency, its value has continued to rise since then (although liquidity remains low).

The rise may be driven by news that BTC China, the world's largest Bitcoin trading company, has secured $5m (£3.1m) of investment. Today a Senate panel will discuss potential risks, threats and promises of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin.

This October saw the shutdown of online marketplace Silk Road - where dealers use Bitcoin to exchange goods. Many suspected that Bitcoin wouldn't recover from losses it saw then.

But the rising value of Bitcoin could be a problem for the currency - as it becomes traded as an asset rather than used as a currency (as was initially intended). We also noted back in April that there's a link between search traffic for Bitcoin and its value.