The price of bitcoins rose to $267.40 on Tuesday, setting a new all-time record on Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange. This is the first time the cryptocurrency has set a price record since the price reached $266, and then imploded, in April.
The new record high appears to be driven in part by surging demand for the currency in China. The volume of yuan-to-bitcoin trading in recent weeks on the leading Chinese exchange, BTC China, has been near record highs. That's very different from Mt. Gox, where trading volume in recent weeks has been much lower than it was in April. This suggests that Chinese speculators may be playing a larger role in the current appreciation than they did during the previous bull market in April.
Prices on Mt. Gox tend to be higher than the prices on other dollar-based exchanges. The spread may reflect the fact that Mt. Gox users have struggled to withdraw dollars from the Japan-based exchange.
Interestingly, the price gap between Mt. Gox and the second most popular exchange, Bitstamp, has narrowed somewhat in recent weeks. At publication time, bitcoins were selling for $254 on Bitstamp, a 5 percent difference.