Bitcoin’s woes continue as the highly speculative currency instrument has seen another large exchange, Bitstamp, suspend withdrawals, following the world’s largest exchange Mt. Gox suspending then reinstated customer withdrawals. Bitcoin has seen its value nearly halved since making all-time highs nearing $1,150 per bitcoin.
A denial-of-service attack (DOS or DDOS) flooded the exchange website with large amounts of data, and it obstructed Bitstamp’s ability to check account balances. This is a common tool used by hackers as they overwhelm the website with empty data packets and overload the servers. A company statement said no fund are able to be withdrawn until the issue is fixed. Bitstamp indicated that no funds were at risk.
Bitcoins have gained acceptance among those in fear of a central bank, fiat currency collapse. Goods and services are becoming available for bitcoin purchases, but the virtual currency has come under scrutiny with lawmakers, particularly in the US. China, India and Russia are also looking to ban or limit the use of bitcoins.
Currently trading at $672.84 per bitcoin, the currency has yet to become stable enough to be a store of wealth. Its speculative nature may be great for trading purposes, but it still has a long road to become a safe asset used in regular purchasing.