The value of bitcoin has been hanging in there in recent weeks following its rocketing value over Christmas and jittery plummet back to earth in January and February, as governments and central banks around the world continued to raise the spectre of future regulation.
The volatile cryptocurrency’s value has shifted wildly ever since mid-December – when it hit a record high of more than $19,850 (£14,214) – with frequent heavy drops and speedy recoveries.
Bitcoin’s value plummeted again shortly before Christmas, dropping by almost $2,000 (£1,449) in just an hour at one point, and almost slipping below the $11,000 mark (£7,970).
It then bounced back, before tumbling again in mid-January, recovering again, and plummeting at the start of February before levelling out for the rest of the month and into early March.
Aside from the looming prospect of regulation, a series of high-profile thefts have also had a hand in the sudden rapid dips in value bitcoin and its rivals have experienced – the most recent of which was a failed raid on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.
Google’s announcement that it would ban cryptocurrency advertising from its pages from June on the grounds that it considers it “deceptive content” was also a major blow to the sector.
Recent goings-on have demonstrated just how quickly things can change for investors.
It is worth $6,969 (£4,961) as of Friday afternoon, down considerably on the recent high of $11,640 (£8,414) it achieved in early March, according to the Coinbase exchange.
Its value is down by 7.36 per cent on this time yesterday, by 19.95 per cent week-on-week and by 33.61 per cent over the last month.
Bitcoin’s rise last year meanwhile led to increasing amounts of interest in other digital currencies, such as ethereum, litecoin and ripple XRP – all of which have performed well recently – and more and more people are now looking to invest in digital currencies.
However, there are serious fears that bitcoin has created a bubble that could burst at any moment.
Numerous financial experts have advised potential investors to avoid getting involved with bitcoin, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission has told people to “exercise caution” and be wary of scammers.
But others have speculated that it could eventually rise towards the $1m (£724,549) mark.
Bitcoin has no central bank and isn’t linked to or regulated by any state.
An anonymised record of every bitcoin transaction is stored on a huge public ledger known as a blockchain.
However, transactions made with the cryptocurrency are irreversible, which makes investors in bitcoin attractive targets for cybercriminals.
This article is being regularly updated to reflect bitcoin’s latest value.
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