If you’re looking to pick up some bitcoin with that tax refund you’ve just received, now may be the time. A quick peak at the charts show that the bitcoin price has dipped below $700 per unit at the Mt. Gox exchange. As of this writing, the price per bitcoin is pegged at $675, with the 24-hour low being $652 (down over 26 percent in the last three days).
Meanwhile at Bitstamp, the price is actually higher (hovering near the $700 mark), which is unusual because ordinarily it’s the other way around.
So what’s causing the price to come down? The simple answer: it’s been a tough week for bitcoin, particularly in the past 48 hours. For one, Russia has effectively banned the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies. As such, popular bitcoin exchange BTC-e has halted the depositing and withdrawing of the Russian ruble to/from the the exchange.
But the big issue is Mt. Gox, and their difficulty handling withdrawals. On Friday, the exchange announced they’d be temporarily halting withdrawals due to overwhelming demand to get money out of the exchange. The move has many in the bitcoin community nervous — fearing this could be the end of the oldest and once-largest bitcoin exchange (now the third most popular).
It’s uncertain where things go from here, but if one thing is for sure, the current price fluctuation has many enthusiasts at the edge of their seats.