Bitcoin prices rose solidly Friday, with futures on CME Group Inc. trading at a level above $10,000 for the first time since in about 15 months, according to FactSet data. Bitcoin futures for June delivery were up $375, or 3.9%, at $10,000 and had hit a peak at $10,060, which would represent the highest level for a most-active contract since March 8, 2018. On top of that, contracts months further in the future are also trading substantially higher, with the September contract trading at $10,145, after hitting a intraday peak at $10,200. Overall, bitcoin futures are up 174% so far this year as activity around cryptos and blockchain, the digital-ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, has grown, with cryptos drawing greater interest from large institutions and not just digital-asset enthusiasts as was the case nearly two years ago during bitcoin's last surge back to near $20,000 in December of 2017 before prices cratered to a low at around $3.194 about seven months ago. Facebook Inc. , earlier this week announced that it is rolling out a crypto-oriented global digital payment known as Libra coin, which is backed by a consortium of companies, including payment processors Mastercard Inc. , PayPal Inc. and many others. Bitcoin's gain have outstripped those for equities and most other traditional assets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up nearly 15% so far in 2019, the S&P 500 index boasting a gain of nearly 18% in the year to date and the Nasdaq Composite Index returning 21% thus far this year. Bitcoin began trading on CME's exchange back in December of 2017, not long after Cboe Global Markets Inc. rolled out the first bitcoin futures contract on Dec. 10, 2017. However, Cboe announced that it was abandoning its bitcoin futures efforts back in March.