The internet has been buzzing with the story that Bitcoin lost almost half its value in six hours. One moment it was worth $260, and a few hours later it was as low as $160. But the real story is less dramatic.
Bitcoin has seen huge rises since the beginning of the year, as increased press interest in the currency has given it a higher profile. In January, Bitcoin was worth around $20, and had seen only modest rises over the previous six months. Over the last 10 weeks, Bitcoin has rocketed up to over $250, which makes the current price of $180 still very high.
Here you can see how the currency has increased in value over the past six months
The increased interest in Bitcoin has increased its volatility. This is good news for investors, but less so for people who use it as an alternative currency in places such as Silk Road.
There is no evidence that the rise or fall value is related to the recent story about Skype malware mining bitcoins.