Currently standing at $2,578.97 per unit, the price of the cryptocurrency has soared up at such a rate that the bitcoin exchange Coinbase was knocked offline by the surge in interest.
This problem reached its peak toward the end of this week when the website and mobile apps fell unavailable for a number of hours because of the volume of trading and traffic.
Coinbase has been left running with slightly degraded performance in regard to credit and debit cards, both European and more generally.
The price has receded slightly since the height of the boom yesterday, as it reached a record shattering $2,805. Bitcoin surpassed the $2,000 mark less than two weeks ago, putting into perspective the rapidity of growth, given that it almost reached $3,000 this week.
“The market cap of digital currencies has increased ~50 percent to $91 billion in the past week. As a result, Coinbase has seen a dramatic increase in traffic and trading volume… The Coinbase engineering and support teams have been working round the clock to keep up with this unprecedented volume. However, Coinbase.com has suffered a few outages including degraded performance and deposit/withdrawal delays for some users. We are actively working on resolving these issues and restoring our site to normal performance.” Coinbase told TechCrunch.
Despite the fast, large-scale growth of the cyptocurrency, history has proven the price is volatile, with threats such as a price split having crippling effects on the price. In recent months Bitcoin sunk back beneath the $1,000 mark in light of such a threat to the currency.
Bitcoin has gained a high profile from events such as the global WannaCry ransomware attack, now famously demanding payment in the cryptocurrency in exchange for releasing valuable data held to ransom with encryption.
The currency continues to defy expectation, having been worth just $14 billion at the end of last year; and at one point not many thought it would even raise its head above the $1,000 mark.