At the beginning of this year, the controversial online currency bitcoin was facing problems. But since April, the price of bitcoin has begun to make a quiet comeback.
In late February of this year, Mt. Gox, the leading exchange for bitcoins, announced that it lost more than $400 million worth of customers' bitcoins and filed for bankruptcy. The fall of Mt. Gox caused a dramatic drop in the value of bitcoin. The currency, which once traded at $1,100, fell to just $360 in April. But the currency has started to make a comeback. By the start of the day Wednesday, the cryptocurrency was trading at more than $660, up 80 percent since April, according to CoinDesk.
This rise in price comes in the same week that two more bitcoin-related websites found themselves in legal trouble. On Tuesday, Erik Voorhees, the co-owner of SatoshiDICE and FeedZeBirds, paid almost $51,000 to settle federal civil charges that he sold shares in the two sites without registering them with the Securities and Exchange Commission, though Voorhees denies he did anything wrong.
Such legal woes have plagued the cryptocurrency since its popularity began to take off last year, but that hasn't stopped major companies from showing interest. Dish Network announced last week that it would begin accepting bitcoin payments, making it one of the largest companies so far to do so. Rapper 50 Cent will allow fans to use bitcoins to buy his new album “Animal Ambition,” released Tuesday.
Even Apple has taken a small step in favor of bitcoin, announcing at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week that it would begin allowing apps that “facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with state and federal laws.” In other words, if bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies ever become accepted, legal forms of currency in certain parts of the world, Apple will accept them, too.
Even with the controversy that constantly surrounds it, it looks like the currency is slowly beginning to regain investors' trust.