The Bitcoin digital currency hit an all-time high Wednesday, as its US dollar exchange rate climbed past $32 for the first time ever. According to Bitcoin Magazine, that eclipses the currency's previous high of $31.9099, reached in June 2011.

This week's milestone, while notable, doesn't come as a major surprise. After bottoming out at under $2 in 2011, Bitcon's value has steadily risen over the past several months, as the anonymous currency has entered new markets. Last year, a French bank received clearance to operate as a Bitcoin exchange, shortly after total circulation of the currency hit 10.5 million. Sites like Reddit, Wordpress.com, and Kim Doctcom's forthcoming Mega service have all adopted Bitcoin payments, as well.

A period of relative calm

Bitcoin's rise can also be attributed to the fact that the currency has remained relatively free from major security breaches. In September, BitCoin exchange BitFloor was forced to temporarily suspend operations after a hacker stole more than $250,000 in virtual money. Things have been mostly stable since then, though security concerns to continue to loom large over Bitcoin's future, and will likely remain critical to its success going forward.

Bitcoin