MtGox, the leading Bitcoin exchange, has been overwhelmed by a large volume of new account requests recently which must go through a process of identity verification (in order for the account to trade higher volumes), leading to unprecedented delays. According to an MtGox spokesperson, there were “around 1000 new requests on Friday” [March 22, 2013] alone. A senior member of bitcointalk.org, who has apparently applied to have his MtGox account verified, stated “There are 4000+ accounts in front of me waiting to be verified…”.
After an account is finally verified it then can take a day, or several days depending on how funds are transferred, to have funds arrive in your exchange account as bank wires, direct deposits or online banking bill payments are the usual ways of doing so (credit cards are not generally accepted or costly fees apply if so). With thousands of new accounts in the queue, at just one exchange that we know of, this suggests that a significant amount of fiat currency will flow into Bitcoin in the coming weeks. With a market capitalization of only around $700M USD it does not take much to move Bitcoin prices significantly.
At the time of this writing Bitcoin are trading at around $68 USD up from $28 thirty days ago.
UPDATE 1:45PM ET: User @bitcoinpumper points out this Reddit post stating that there are 5,500 MtGox accounts pending verification.