One possible catalyst for the rally was yesterday’s announcement that major U.S. satellite service provider DISH Network had entered into a payment partnership with Coinbase. At nearly $14 billion in annual revenue and roughly 30,000 employees, DISH is by far the largest corporate adopter of bitcoin payments. Although DISH won’t be accepting bitcoin until later this year, the announcement does hint at a growing thawing of institutional-level skepticism of bitcoin transactions, and is clearly a PR boost for Coinbase.
DISH isn’t the whole story, however. Bitcoin prices have been rising dramatically since May 20th, often spiking during the late-night hours in the U.S. Today’s rally began shortly after 2 a.m. EST, coinciding with the start of market trading hours in much of Europe. Given the new level of attention across the continent for virtual currencies thanks to the recent Bitcoin2014 conference in Amsterdam, the recent rally may be a result of new institutional-level buyers testing the waters.