Bitcoin has shot up by $1,000 in less than 24 hours in a price surge reminiscent of the huge gains it experienced in late 2017, when the cryptocurrency's value catapulted to nearly $20,000.

The latest jump in price follows seven weeks of steady gains, which have seen bitcoin's price rise from below $4,000 to today's price of $8,100.

Early speculation among bitcoin experts is that the latest price surge may have been triggered by the Consensus 2019 bitcoin conference kicking off in New York this week.

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Cryptocurrency market analysts have also pointed to a recent spate of good news for bitcoin, such as crypto-related announcements from large institutional investors like Fidelity Investments.

Simon Peters, an analyst at the online trading platform eToro, suggests the combination of these factors could lead to even more gains in the next few days.

"If we see institutions begin to pump serious money into the market, we could be at the start of a very long bull run for cryptoassets," he told The Independent.

"As crypto's true believers gather in New York for Consensus this week, they are counting ever-more household-name companies among their number... This is good news at the start of a big week in crypto, we expect more price moves over the coming days."

Bitcoin's volatile history in pictures
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 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first bitcoin block in 2009
Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time
Silk Road opens for business
The first bitcoin ATM appears
British-based bitcoin exchange CoinCorner told The Independent that it has witnessed an increase in interest in bitcoin from traders and investors over the last few months.

"Since the start of 2019 we've seen increases in our volumes and sign ups at CoinCorner, likely caused by the bitcoin price rising at a steadier pace," said CoinCorner CEO Danny Scott.

"Compared to this time last year when the price was coming down from its near $20,000 highs, the industry has been making upward strides and we're watching it progress every day."