就在同一天，还爆出一条新闻，全球比特币交易量最大的企业——BTC中国公司（BTC China）获得了来自机构投资者光速安振中国创业投资（Lightspeed China Partners）和光速创业投资（Lightspeed Venture Partners）500万美元的首轮融资。
自从丝绸之路被端掉之后，比特币就开始迎来大幅上涨，而它是否在美国兴起其实还无关紧要。近几周来，是中国大幅推高了比特币的价格。据专门提供比特币数据的Bitcoin Charts称，现在约三分之一的比特币交易都是通过BTC China交易平台进行的，而这个平台只对中国用户开放。这家公司最近取代了位于东京的Mt. Gox公司，成为全球交易量最大的比特币交易所，公司高管表示正计划利用最新一轮融资“实现快速增长、拓展业务。”
Bitcoin has reached a rite of passage. The four-year-old virtual currency was once dismissed as something of a fad that only gangsters and drug dealers used, but in recent weeks, it has found new sources of credibility. Increasingly, investors from the U.S. to China are betting that the alternative currency could some day benefit regular consumers.
On Monday, bitcoin soared to a new high of $700 (it rose to $900 overnight), after senior law enforcement and regulatory officials highlighted the benefits of virtual currencies at the first ever congressional hearing on such monetary instruments.
Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general, said virtual currencies are legit and "have the potential to promote more efficient global commerce." And even though they aren't backed by a central bank, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke echoed similar sentiments, writing in a letter to senators that virtual currencies "may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system."
The same day, news broke that BTC China, the world's largest bitcoin exchange by trading volume, secured $5 million in investments from institutional investors Lightspeed China Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
The developments signal a shift. Just last month, federal authorities busted an online drug ring called Silk Road, which used bitcoin for all transactions. The bust prompted a major sell off; bitcoin declined by 20% after the website was taken down. It might have been hard to believe then, but the crackdown was probably the best thing that happened for the currency. It helped clean up bitcoin's shady side, bringing it closer to the mainstream financial system.
Since the Silk Road crackdown, bitcoin has made huge gains, and whether it flourishes in the U.S. isn't really the issue. In recent weeks, China has overwhelmingly driven up the price of bitcoin. About a third of the currency's transactions now flow through the BTC China exchange, which is open only to Chinese users, according to Bitcoin Charts, which provides bitcoin data. BTC recently unseated Tokyo-based Mt. Gox as the world's largest exchange by trading volume, and executives say it plans to use its latest round of funding to "aggressively grow and expand the business."
Why the bitcoin love in China? It's surprising Beijing hasn't intervened, as the Chinese government generally keeps a heavy hand over its economy. Bitcoin is volatile, but its price has gone up more than 30-fold this year.