Chinese buyers push bitcoin price to highest level since Mt. Gox blowup

Anxieties about the unsustainable runup in Chinese corporate debt sparked a massive rally in bitcoin that sent the price of a single virtual coin to its highest level in more than two years.

The price of a single bitcoin broke above $700 on Monday for the first time since early February 2014, just before the failure of a prominent bitcoin exchange ignited a years-long selloff.

Beginning around 5 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, bitcoin prices shot higher, rising from around $580 to more than $700 in trading midday U.S. time Monday.

Chinese buyers were behind the bulk of the rally, trading volumes show, with nearly 85% of transactions conducted in yuan, according to data from CryptoCompare.

One bitcoin recently traded hands at 4,756 yuan, according to CryptoCompare, a 1% premium to the price measured in dollars, at $714.