Photo: ReutersTokyo: Bitcoin surged past $17,000 Thursday as the frenzy surrounding the cryptocurrency escalated just days before it starts trading on major US exchanges. Research company Coindesk said that a wallet address referred to by NiceHash users indicates that about 4,700 bitcoins had been stolen. As of 11.15am EST, bitcoin was valued at $17,482, according to Coinbase, the largest bitcoin exchange. The surge in the bitcoin price and the hack of NiceHash occurred just as the trading community prepares for bitcoin to start trading on two established US exchanges. In Japan, following the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt.