Bitcoins is a digital currency designed to obscure the identities of the people using it. (Bloomberg/Goerge Frey) (Bloomberg/George Frey)

Bitcoin briefly touched $5,000 on Tuesday, its highest level since late November, while other cryptocurrencies also surged.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, Bitcoin rose as much as 20 percent in Asian trading to briefly touch the $5,000 mark before settling at $4,730 by 0700 GMT, up 14 percent on the day; still its biggest one-day gain since April of last year.

Ethereum’s ether and Ripple’s XRP, two other large cryptocurrencies, also jumped higher.

It was not immediately clear what was behind the rally in virtual currency prices.