Bitcoin values have spiked - but no one is sure why

The controversial currency is currently in demand...

Bitcoin values have spiked - but no one is sure why

Antana, Flickr

Bitcoin values surged over the weekend as the digital currency has hit its highest level since the summer of 2014 - with one Bitcoin trading for $549 US dollars at one point.

Analysts from the Bitcoin news site Coindesk say that there is no clear source of the increase - 95% of the demand is coming from China.

EY is set to hold a major auction in Austrailia, it will sell bitcoins worth close to €11.6m which are described as confiscated "proceeds of crime" but the firm cannot say who its client is.

The sale will happen through its transactions partner Adam Nikitins, he says that it is "targeting sophisticated investors who can see the value of investing in a growing digital asset."

Many economists remain skeptical about the crypto-currency but Bitcoins worth over €7.2bn are currently in circulation.

The number of Bitcoin transactions has quadrupled since 2012.

Applications

The financial services and consultancy firm Deloitte is to establish a Blockchain Lab in Dublin, where it will build a team of 50 highly skilled developers and designers over the next 18 months.

Blockchain is the coded technology that underlies the virtual currency Bitcoin but its facility to allow multiple users access secure databases for complex but secure financial transfers, payments and verification processes has significant potential for the banking and financial services industry.

Deloitte, which recently signed partnership deals with five leading blockchain start-up companies aims, through experimentation in the new venture, to create functioning applications for the financial sector across EMEA.