Bitcoin surged more than 14% in less than an hour Thursday morning, briefly passing the $8,000 (about R95,900) level that it has not seen since March, before sinking to around $7,700 (R92,300). 

It's the biggest intra-day gain for bitcoin in almost two months, according to historical data from CoinMarketCap. 

"The swell is likely due to the impending completion of tax season. My prediction is that with only two business days left before the tax deadline, many Americans have paid their taxes and decided to invest into bitcoin and projects they believe in long term, or try their hand in an emerging market that couldn’t possibly slide any further," said Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark. 

"Also, the positive swing back is reflected by the investments of major firms like the Rockefeller- backed VC and the Soros fund."

Despite the steep gains, the price is still less than half of its record high of $19,843 (R237,900) set in December. Earlier this week, Barclay's said bitcoin is unlikely to ever top that record again, based on modeling that compares the cryptocurrency to the spread of a virus like influenza.

Other major cryptocurrencies were also in the green Thursday, though not nearly as high as the flagship bitcoin. Ethereum was up 7% and Ripple's XRP was up about 3%.

Earlier this month, Fundstrat founder Tom Lee predicted a Mid-April surge in bitcoin price as investors sell their digital coins to pay an estimated $25 billion (R300 billion) in US taxes they had racked up during the height of the crypto craze. 

"The $25 billion (R300 billion) would represent 20% of capital gain tax receipts (payments) to Treasury, which explains why the IRS cares so much about collecting crypto taxes," Lee said in a note to clients. "As a consequence, if this analysis is correct, selling pressure for bitcoin should be alleviated after April 15th."

Bitcoin is down 42% since the beginning of 2018.

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