There has been a recent and widespread loss in value among crypto-currencies, which have already proven to be unstable at times. Although bitcoin has received the bulk of the media attention lately, it is only one of several different crypto-currencies available. In addition to bitcoin, there are ripples, litecoins, peercoins, dogecoins, mastercoins and vertcoins, to name a few.
In the first five days of February, most crypto-currencies including bitcoin have experienced a dip in value. Vertcoin would be the exception. In the same time period Vertcoin value has surged over 200%. Between February 1st and February 5th, the value of vertcoins went from $.73 to $6.19.
While the value of Vertcoin is significantly less than bitcoin as is their marketshare, it is showing some rapid growth.
Although difficult to determine exactly why prices fluctuate, it is possible the drop bitcoin experienced was, in part, due to issues with Mt Gox, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange.
Mt Gox has been experiencing a variety of issues including their systems freezing mid-transaction and people waiting weeks, sometimes months, for their transactions to be completed. Although the company insists everything is fine and labeled the everything a technical issue, problems like this with bitcoin often have repercussions that affect the value.
The situation with Mt Gox has the potential to impact the overall value of bitcoin because users have started airing their complaints on popular online forums. According to one user, “I waited for four months to take out 6 BTC from Mt. Gox and when I threatened them with legal action they clocked my account…they are thieves plan and simple.”
The value of bitcoin, just like anything else, is based on supply and demand as well as news and issues surrounding it. Similarly to stocks, bitcoin value is sensitive to media reports and how people respond to new information. It’s possible the complaints have made bitcoin owners feel a tad uneasy.