Online currency bitcoin had 20 percent knocked off its price overnight on Thursday as one of its major exchanges became the victim of a hacking attack leading to a sell-off in the virtual currency after reaching an all-time high.
Uncertainty over other currencies, turmoil in Cyprus and media interest are just some of the reasons commentators are citing for the 360 percent rise in bitcoin prices over the last month. The frenzied interest in bitcoins piled over onto the social media site Twitter and led to a spike in Google searches on the topic.
(Read More: What Is Bitcoin?)
But by Thursday morning bitcoin prices had fallen to $132 from Wednesday’s record price of $147.
The most popular bitcoin exchange, Tokyo-based Mt.Gox announced overnight that it had been the victim of a hacking attack after experiencing a severe lag with its systems. The complications meant the price quickly sank to below $115 before regaining ground to $130 by 6.00 a.m. London time on Thursday, according to Bitcoincharts.com.