by Stephen Foley, FT:
Adherents of the virtual currency Bitcoin are picking up the pieces after their holdings collapsed in price, and vowing to continue growing the Bitcoin economy despite the volatility and illiquidity bedevilling activity.
The price of a single Bitcoin peaked at $266 on Wednesday, double its price a week earlier, and then slumped to a low of $54 on Friday. That takes it back to its level before a surge in internet and media interest that began in late March.
The price collapse hit not just speculators but also merchants who sold goods or services for Bitcoin at the peak. Tony Gallippi, founder of Bitpay, which processes transactions for merchants, said about half his customers keep their income in Bitcoins, rather than immediately cashing out, and so would have lost money on transactions.
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