Bitcoin spikes after Japan says it's a legal payment method

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Bitcoin trades up 2.8% at $1,133 a coin as of 7:08 a.m. ET on Monday. The cryptocurrency's gains come after Japan announced on Friday that bitcoin would be accepted as a legal payment method beginning on April 1, 2017.

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It's the first bit of good news for bitcoin in quite some time. Recent chatter in the market has centered around developers threatening a "hard fork" that would split the currency in two.

Additionally, the US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected two bitcoin ETFs in March, saying that it did not find the proposals "to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest."

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Bitcoin has gained more than 19% so far in 2017. It has been the top-performing currency every year since 2010, except for 2014.

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