Social gaming firm Zynga has said it will start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, raising the value of the virtual currency to $1,000 (£610).

Zynga said it had tied up with BitPay, a Bitcoin payment service, to allow users to purchase virtual goods in some of its games using the virtual facility.

"In response to Bitcoin’s rise in popularity around the world, Zynga, with help from BitPay, is testing expanded payment options for players to make in-game purchases using Bitcoin," the firm said.

Zynga’s strategic move follows a similar one by Ouya, the Android-based video games console-maker, which began accepting payments for its hardware in Bitcoins last month.

The Humble Bundle – an organisation selling a changing selection of indie games – also began accepting Bitcoins in 2013.

Bitcoins peaked at $1,250 in November last year, but fell sharply in December after China’s decision to ban Bitcoin transactions.

According to the South China Morning Post, the value of a single Bitcoin fell to as low as CNY2,560 ($421) in December, after China’s move.