Bitcoin surged past US$17,000 on Thursday as the frenzy surrounding the virtual currency escalated just days before it starts trading on major US exchanges.

Bitcoin has gained more than US$5,000 in just the past two days.

The world-rsquo;s biggest cryptocurrency is surging on expectations that new bitcoin derivatives products expected to begin trading this month will boost mainstream demand. Some of the world-rsquo;s biggest brokerages criticised those plans on Wednesday, telling...

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