by Chris Isidore, CNN Money:
The price of Bitcoins has plunged more than 70% in the past two days, sparking a rush of activity that overwhelmed trading platforms and suggested the bubble in the virtual currency has burst.
Bitcoins were down to $77.56 as of 3 p.m. ET Friday. Prices reached as high as $266 per Bitcoin around 7:30 a.m. ET Wednesday. But the price started to fall through the rest of day and Thursday morning.
At about 10 a.m. ET Thursday, trading was halted on Mt.Gox, a Japan-based exchange that claims to handle 80% of Bitcoin trade worldwide. The price at that time was already at about $123, down more than 50% from the peak.
Mt.Gox issued a statement Friday attributing both the pre-halt price fall and the halt in trading to the rush of new customers trying to trade in the electronic currency.
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