Bitcoin, the unregulated digital currency that once was valued at $10, hit a record Wednesday, trading above $1,000 per bitcoin on the Mt. Gox online exchange.
Speculators from China and the U.S. have been snapping up the digital currency as it becomes a more popular form of payment.
Demand has been strong in China where Baidu, a popular online search engine, accepts bitcoin as payment for services.
The digital currency has been rising steadily over the past few months and it has become more widely accepted. Virgin Galactic, the firm that aims to send tourists to space, announced this week it will accept bitcoin as payment for travel.
The University of Nicosia in the island nation of Cyprus said recently it will accept the virtual currency bitcoin as payment for tuition and other school fees. The largest university in Cyprus, the school said it will also offer a master's degree in digital currency next spring designed to increase understanding of "the technical underpinnings of digital currency."
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing where officials urged greater oversight of bitcoin after the Federal Bureau of Investigations shut down Silk Road, an illicit online marketplace for drugs and other services where bitcoin was the preferred form of payment.