Bitcoin topped the psychologically key $9,000 level to hit a 10-day high Wednesday amid improved sentiment about government regulation. The cryptocurrency climbed 9.7 percent to $9,346, its highest since Feb.

4, according to CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index, which tracks prices from four major exchanges. As of 12:50 p.m. ET, Bitcoin was about 9 percent higher near $9,313.

“Sentiment has changed. The Senate hearing a week ago was positive.

That definitely helped to create a more optimistic view,” said Nick Kirk, quantitative developer and data scientist at Cypher Capital, a cryptocurrency trading firm. He added that news out of South Korea has been OK.

The latest reports about South Korean regulation marked a toned-down approach, in contrast to fears in the last several weeks that the government would close down cryptocurrency exchanges. English-language news site BusinessKorea reported Monday local time that a government official involved with a virtual currency task force said Sunday that the country is considering additional regulation similar to the “BitLicense” the New York State Department of Financial Services requires for cryptocurrency exchanges in the state. Read more from…

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