Bitcoin bubble re-inflates, retail traders jump right back in

Bitcoin’s wild roller coaster ride takes it from $900, down to $450 and back up to $700

What a week it has been for the virtual currency Bitcoin – prices have been swinging in both directions in roller-coaster mode. As the Senate hearings on the digital currency were ongoing it has rallied all the way up to $900 on Mt Gox, in the aftermath prices have slumped to a low around $455 as market participants decided to lock in some profits.

Network and withdrawal Issues with Bitstamp on Tuesday reinforced profit taking, however a day later the exchange has issued a press release stating that all issues surrounding the website and deposit and withdrawal functionality have been resolved. Prices started to rebound again and are currently trading just below $700 on Bitstamp.

Others have not been so lucky, with Polish Bitcoin exchange Bidextreme regretfully informing its customers that following a hackers’ attack the website’s portfolio containing the Bitcoin and Litecoin wallets of customers has been emptied. According to a statement issued by the company cash deposits have remained unscathed and the money will be returned to customers. A formal police investigation has been started and we might be getting more info soon.

On a positive note the community has gained its first educational institution that accepts Bitcoin payments for tuition fees and has started a Master’s Degree program in Digital Currency. The University of Nicosia is launching the new Master’s program in spring 2014 and it will be available on –campus and online for international students worldwide.

The university is also proposing to the Cypriot government to establish the country as a hub for Bitcoin trading, processing and banking. A rather optimistic suggestion in the context of events surrounding the country since last spring.

The wild fluctuations in the crypto-currency are likely to stay with us for a while, how big will it become? No one can really tell for now. The author recalls the investment of a group of friends who have spent a couple of thousand dollars for a rig which they successfully put into “mining” 24/7. Have they had spent the money on actually buying Bitcoins at the time, they would have made way more money than they made by “mining”.

We will keep looking closely as to how this story unfolds, meanwhile strap yourself in if you are willing to trade the digital currency. The roller-coaster goes on and a couple of forex brokers like Plus500 and AvaTrade are already offering Bitcoin for trading.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.

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