The price of Bitcoin has been on a tear, with prices surging from $100 a few days ago to $147 earlier today. But an outage of the largest Bitcoin market and an unrelated Bitcoin hacking incident have knocked the price back down to $115.

Bitcoin is a virtual, decentralized currency that isn’t regulated by any government body. But the nature of the currency means that it is subject to wild price swings when confidence declines.

Today, an outage knocked out Mt. Gox, the largest market where Bitcoin is traded. The incident was not one related to hacking but most likely happened because of unusually high trading volume.

But an attack did happen today: the hacking of Bitcoin wallet service Instawallet, which has suspended service “indefinitely.” The company said it will need to develop an alternative architecture that isn’t susceptible to hacking if it wants to relaunch.

Check out today’s price fluctuations on Mt. Gox in the chart below.

Bitcoin prices Mt. Gox

Bitcoin photo via zcopley/Flickr
Bitcoin chart via BitcoinCharts


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