The value of bitcoin has dropped over recent days, and is yet to bounce back.
The volatile cryptocurrency hit a record high when it passed $19,850 in mid-December, but then tumbled rapidly, falling to below $12,000 within days.
Its value shifted unpredictably over the following weeks, but seemed to be on the up again after the turn of the year.
It is worth $13,609 as of Friday morning UK time, according to the Coinbase exchange. Earlier this morning, it dropped just below the $13,000 mark.
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It had been worth more than $17,000 at the weekend.
Its value is down more than 21 per cent from a month ago, and up more than 1,595 per cent from a year ago.
Recent goings-on have demonstrated just how quickly the situation can change for investors.
The cryptocurrency’s value plummeted ahead of Christmas, dropping by almost $2,000 in just an hour at one point, and almost slipping below the $11,000 mark.
Bitcoin is notoriously volatile, and its value is expected to continue to shift unpredictably.
Its rise has also led to increasing amounts of interest in alternative cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum, litecoin and XRP.
Naturally, its spectacular rise has coincided with increasing amounts of interest, with more and more people now looking to invest.
However, there are serious fears that bitcoin has created a bubble that could burst at any moment.
Numerous financial experts are advising potential investors to avoid getting involved with bitcoin, and the SEC has told people to “exercise caution” and be wary of scammers.
However, others are speculating that it could keep rising towards the $1m mark.
Bitcoin only exists online, 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.