Mt. Gox, the world's first and largest Bitcoin exchange, appears to be down.
Below is a screenshot of what it looks like for us when we try to access the site.
We are seeing a lot of others tweeting about the same problem.
aaand Mt Gox goes down mtgox.com— felix salmon (@felixsalmon) April 3, 2013
Earlier today, Bitcoin service Instawallet said it had been hacked and was shutting down until further notice.
These outages highlight the fundamental problem with the virtual currency that has seen its price surge in 2013 – confidence.
ConvergEx Group strategist Nick Colas touched on this in a recent note about Bitcoin:
What’s interesting to note is why BTC prices plummet, which they did in the back half of 2011. The cause was a very short-lived hack attack on one Bitcoin “Wallet” company out of Japan, which caused the price to drop from $27 down to $2 in a few months. Confidence in money as a store of value is the ultimate driver of its value, both in the cyber and real worlds.
These are definitely key issues that will need to be overcome if Bitcoin wants to go mainstream.
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