Bitcoin again reaches US$1,000 in open trading


Tue, Jan 07, 2014 - Page 15

The price of bitcoin surpassed US$1,000 again after Zynga Inc said it would start accepting the virtual currency for some of its online games, citing wider use of the digital money.

Bitcoins, which exist as software and are not controlled by any country or banking authority, surged to about US$1,119 on the Mt.Gox online exchange, one of several markets where they are traded for US dollars, euros and other currencies.

Bitcoins first crossed the US$1,000 threshold in late November last year and reached record at US$1,238 on Mt.Gox on Dec. 4, but then plummeted to as low as US$640 after China’s largest online market for the virtual currency stopped accepting deposits.

The digital currency has rebounded as online merchants, including Zynga, accept bitcoins.

“Bitcoin has been remarkably resilient in the face of all the bad news out of China,” Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, wrote in an e-mail. “The strength shows a continued interest, which is a very positive sign.”

Dani Dudeck, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Zynga, confirmed a community Web site post by the company introducing a plan to test bitcoin payments.

Players will be able to pay via the BitPay payments service for players of FarmVille 2, CastleVille and other games, Zynga said.

“We look forward to hearing from our players about the bitcoin test so we can continue in our efforts to provide the best possible gaming experience,” Zynga said.

Victoria’s Secret Stores LLC has signed up with Gyft, an app that lets users buy gift cards with bitcoins. Inc plans to start accepting bitcoins next summer, chief executive officer Patrick Byrne said in an interview last month.