Bitcoin surges by more than $2,000 in just over a day

Bitcoin rose Wednesday morning along with sharp gains in other major cryptocurrencies.

The largest digital currency by market capitalization traded 9.5 percent higher above $8,400 as of 8:12 a.m., ET, according to CoinDesk, whose bitcoin price index tracks prices from four major exchanges. The jump marked a gain of more than $2,000 in just over a day.

The gains followed a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday on virtual currencies in which the chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission emphasized consumer protection without a heavy-handed ban on development of cryptocurrencies. The chairmen also said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is bringing together several federal agencies to coordinate regulation on the fast-growing industry.

Ahead of the hearing, bitcoin fell below $6,000 to $5,947.40, its lowest since Nov. 13, amid a plunge in U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 rallied late Tuesday to close 1.7 percent higher, but stock index futures were pointing to a lower open Wednesday.

Other cryptocurrencies traded higher Wednesday morning. Ethereum climbed 5.6 percent to $838, ripple rose 2.3 percent and bitcoin cash gained nearly 4.8 percent, according to CoinMarketCap.

On a 24-hour basis, the 15 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap showed double-digit gains, with neo the greatest advancer, up 45 percent.

Bitcoin remains nearly 17 percent lower for February, and down 39 percent for the year so far.

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