Bitcoin on Tuesday held ground just below its highest this year, touched a day earlier, with gains for the original cryptocurrency topping 27% since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Bitcoin hit $48,234 on Monday evening, its highest since Dec. 31. It was last trading up 0.9% at $47,553.
Its gains lifted smaller cryptocurrencies that tend to move in tandem with bitcoin. Ether, the second biggest token, hit $3,436 on Monday, its highest since early January.
Market players cited emerging signs of a new wave of adoption of crypto by institutional investors and financial firms, whose interest over the past two years has fuelled crypto's journey to mainstream asset from niche technology.
Bitcoin has risen over 12% in the last week alone.
Among supportive comments cited were those by BlackRock Inc's chief executive, who said last week that the Russia-Ukraine war could end up accelerating digital currencies as a tool to settle international transactions.
Such moves signal "growing conviction that the crypto markets are worth dedicating more resources to," said Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at U.S. crypto firm Genesis.
Though bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now spoken of in the same breath as traditional assets from stocks and foreign exchange to bonds, its remains as volatile as ever.
Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $69,000 in November, before tumbling almost 30% in just 24 days.
(Reporting by Tom Wilson and Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)