Virtual currency bitcoin breached the $10,000-mark in value for the first time on Wednesday on major exchanges. The currency has risen more than 10 times so far this year, the largest gain for any asset class, Reuters reported.

The surge in the bitcoin this month follows announcements from CME Group Inc and Chicago Board Options Exchange that they plan to launch bitcoin futures. Soon after CME Group’s announcement on October 31, bitcoin crossed $7,000 (Rs 4.52 lakh) for the first time. Chicago Board Options Exchange also laid down specific details about a similar plan on November 17.

Futures contracts are deals in which buyers and sellers, for an extra nominal charge, agree to exchange an asset at a later date, but at the current prices. This helps both parties avoid losses if the prices were to rise or fall unfavourably later.

At 11.30 am, the bitcoin was quoted at around $10,115 apiece on digital exchange BitStamp.