In a rash of panic selling, bitcoin fell below $600 earlier Saturday before rebounding above $700 by mid-morning on Mt. Gox, BTC-e and other exchanges, with some speculators taking advantage of the swing to buy the volatile cryptocurrency.
Welcome to the next chapter of e-commerce, where someone can buy a Tesla Model S electric automobile at the Lamborghini Newport Beach dealership with bitcoins.
The second-largest U.S. bank has clothed bitcoin in a veil of legitimacy by concluding this: “We believe Bitcoin can become a major means of payment for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money transfer providers.”
A new development with uncertain implications was placed in front of bitcoin holders and speculators Thursday when China’s central bank said its institutions were prohibited from handling the cryptocurrency.
The punditry on the bitcoin’s potential is as varied as the leading cryptocurrency’s swinging value, from one opinion decrying it as a dollar destroyer to the next predicting its potential at $1 million each — while others see it as having a valid but uncertain role in the next phase of e-commerce.
Who is getting richer faster? The speculators mining for bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies, or the makers of the hardware that makes mining more efficient. You guessed it — the mining hardware developers. At least for now.
The Web is abuzz with the tale of a college student who raked in some $24,000 worth of Bitcoins in hours, with no mining involved whatsoever. He didn’t do it by smart trading on Mt. Gox either. It was a bit of a fluke.
As different as gold and the “cryptocurrency” leader bitcoin are to each other, their price paths nearly met Friday, and many digital headlines made a point to catch the near collision, even if one has nothing to do with the other — for now.
Bitcoin’s compelling and rollercoaster existence actually “embodies an elegant and disruptive technology,” using file-sharing, the peer-to-peer system that gave birth to early music services like Napster, Kazaa and LimeWire.